Ministries investigate tyre fires

Tuesday June 26, 2018 Written by Published in Environment
Tyres placed around coconut tree stumps on land next to the Edgewater Resort. PHOTO: Facebook. 18062111 Tyres placed around coconut tree stumps on land next to the Edgewater Resort. PHOTO: Facebook. 18062111

The National Environment Service and Public Health are investigating incidents in which tyres were used as fuel for fires to burn coconut tree stumps next to one of the island’s largest tourist resorts last week.

CINews phoned NES staff after a local resident posted a message on Facebook saying she had been to visit a friend at the Edgewater on Thursday morning and was shocked to see tyres burning on the site in front of the Edgewater Resort in Arorangi.

“I am not one to complain usually but burning around 50 tyres right next to one of our biggest resorts surely can’t be good for the environment or tourism,” the resident said.

She added that she had contacted the NES and had learned that the person responsible for burning the tyres had been warned about it the previous week.

“It was reported on Saturday (June 17) as they were doing it then too! Now they are doing it today.”

On Friday afternoon, NES advisory and compliance division manager Vavia Tangatataia said NES officers were “onto it right now”.

The team was actually out there this morning as there was a report of fire black smoke at the site,” Tangatataia said.

“The landowner was nowhere to be seen on site but he has been doing some clearance on his property in the last few days.

“According to one of the neighbours (NES staff) interviewed, the owner actually resides overseas and has been here since last week. The land is actually vacant with no house on the site.

“Public Health has been contacted and is doing their own investigation on this.”

News of the incident drew numerous comments from local residents on Facebook, most of them concerned that people are continuing to burn plastic and rubber despite warning, and with no regard for the way noxious fumes affect others.

The fumes from burning plastic and rubber are known to have highly dangerous effects and inhaling the smoke from burning rubber has been said by one health expert to produce similar effects to smoking 300 cigarettes at once.

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