Press Release

Department of Disaster Management
Department of Waste Management
Release Date:
Wednesday, 23 May 2018 - 4:08pm

Chief Fire Officer (CFO) Mr. Zebalon McLean has confirmed that the Virgin Islands Fire and Rescue Service (VIFRS) continue to make progress in extinguishing the fire at the Cox Heath Debris Site.

Mr. McLean is also alerting the public that there will be a steady release of smoke as the pile is removed from the site.

He said, “Fire Officers and Heavy Equipment Operators continued to work over the weekend to cool the interior of the pile to reduce the smoke emissions”. He added that additional fire pumps and heavy equipment will be brought to the site this week to assist. 

The joint operation to put the fire completely out is being supported by the Department of Waste Management (DWM). Manager Mr. Greg Massicote said, “the heat from the debris site has decreased significantly and heavy equipment operators have now proceeded to simultaneously cool the pile from the front and the rear.”

Meanwhile, Medical Officer and Health Disaster Coordinator in the Ministry of Health and Social Development, Dr. Ronald Georges in response to the public’s continued concerns regarding the effects of the smoke, is reminding  asthmatics or those persons with respiratory illnesses, in particular children and the elderly, to take extra precautions to avoid exposure to the smoke.

Persons in need of general advice due to health challenges from the effects of the Cox Heath fire are advised to telephone the BVIHSA Health Helpline for assistance. The Road Town Health Centre Helpline can be reached at 852-7681 and the Cane Garden Bay Health Helpline at 852-7770 or 440-1641 or 440-1728. Persons may telephone from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.  Those in need of urgent assistance should call 911 or visit the Pebbles Hospital Emergency Department.

For any further updates on the Cox Heath Debris Fire, the public is urged to follow the DDM’s website and Facebook page.


Department of Disaster Management

#3 Wailing Road McNamara,
Road Town VG1110,
Tortola Virgin Islands
Tel: 284-468-4200 Fax:284-494-2024
Office Email: