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Recent fires have the Marsh Harbour Police and the Marsh Harbour Volunteer Fire and Rescue (MHVFR) reminding the public that it is illegal to start fires without first obtaining permission from the local police station. On Monday, November 5 a couple small debris fires started up in the Haitian shanty town called The Mudd at about four in the afternoon and within a few hours there were as many as eight separate fires burning. Residents in the surrounding communities complained as the smoke stayed low and enveloped neighborhoods.

Illegal fires a burning issue

Above: smoke from one of several fires started in The Mudd on the evening on Nov 5. Residents of the surrounding communities reported foul smelling smoke as post-hurricane debris was being burned.

Recent fires have the Marsh Harbour Police and the Marsh Harbour Volunteer Fire and Rescue (MHVFR) reminding the public that it is illegal to start fires without first obtaining permission from the local police station.

On Monday, November 5 a couple small debris fires started up in the Haitian shanty town called The Mudd at about four in the afternoon and within a few hours there were as many as eight separate fires burning. Residents in the surrounding communities complained as the smoke stayed low and enveloped neighborhoods.

By six-O-clock in the evening two police officers along with assistant fire chief Matthew Key went into the Mudd and where persons were told to put out their fires.

Days later a fire started in a banana grove near Pop’s Animal Shelter on S.C. Bootle Hwy. spread and the MHVFR were called in to protect the shelter on multiple occasions. Fire Chief Danny Sawyer noted the amount of diesel and man hours it cost due to an illegally set fire.

“We had on Sunday afternoon ten firefighters and three fire trucks at the scene. It’s very important to know you need permission before you burn and you must have a way to control the fire,” Mr. Sawyer said.

The Superintendent of Police for Abaco, Noel Curry said “We in the Police Department want to say in the strongest way possible to the public that it is against the law to start a fire without permission from the relevant authorities.”

He added that persons wishing to burn debris must first consult with the local fire service or local police department for permission before starting any fire. “Failure to do so will result in the full extent of the law being enforced,” he said.

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About Timothy Roberts

Timothy had his first venture into Journalism just months after graduating from Queen’s College in Nassau taking his first job with The Tribune in 1991 leaving in 1992 for other pursuits.

During his time in Nassau he diversified his experiences working as a warehouse manager, locksmith and computer technician before returning to Abaco, a place he has always considered home, in 1999.

He joined the staff of The Abaconian in 2001 doing graphic design and writing an opinion article called Generally Speaking and after a brief time away, returned to The Abaconian in 2010 as a reporter, graphic designer and computer technician.

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