10th Fire in a Year at Anguilla Landfill Sunday

A fire was spotted on the southeast perimeter slope of the St. Croix Anguilla landfill at 7:10 p.m. Sunday, April 26. Virgin Islands Fire Services were called and minimized the fire shortly after arriving on the scene, according to the Waste Management Authority.

Smoke billows on Sunday afternoon from a fire at the Anguilla Landfill, adjacent to the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport on St. Croix. (Source photo by Susan Ellis)
June file photo shows smoke billowing from a June, 2019 fire at the Anguilla Landfill. (Source file photo)

According to Waste Management, operations at the landfill were not affected and the site opened for business at its regular 6 a.m. time on Monday. Waste Management personnel and contractors continue to monitor the area, prepared to suppress any flareups.

This is at least the 10th fire at the St. Croix landfill in the past 12 months and the fourth since the year began less than four months ago. There was a fire reported on Feb. 8. Smoke from a fire in January impacted St. Croix’s airport. There was a fire in October of 2019. A fire on July 7, 2019 burned for several days.

On July 2, 2019, Waste Management reported that a fire that began burning on June 30 in the scrap metal area had been contained and was smoldering, but under control.

The agency announced on June 25, 2018, that a fire that had been burning since June 17 had finally been controlled. That nine-week fire caused extensive damage.

There have been a number of fires at the landfill over the years. It caught fire three times in 2018.

There was a fire at Anguilla in 2012. And a fire burned for many years at the dump until extinguished in 2009 at a cost of more than $3.9 million.

In 2008, Waste Management officials said that fire had been burning underground since around 1966 or 1967. Other, separate fires were reported at times during the intervening years.

Under the terms of a nine-year-old settlement agreement, Anguilla was supposed to close on Sept. 30, 2018. The Waste Management Authority hired Oasis Consulting to design a closure process for Anguilla and to help pick, and open, a new site in the near future. No source of funding for the closure has been made public as of Feb. 20.

Smoke from a March 2018 fire at the Anguilla Landfill caused a smokey day on St Croix. (Source photo by Susan Ellis)
Smoke from a March 2018 fire at the Anguilla Landfill caused a smokey day on St Croix. (Source photo by Susan Ellis)