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DEBRIS PROBLEM SPARKS CONTROVERSY: BVI Officials Say Dump Fire Started Spontaneously and Tried To Put It Out Tuesday … But It Was Still Smoldering Wednesday

BURN, BABY, BURN: The 1965 poem by Marvin X about the Watts riots in California doesn’t really apply to the Pockwood Pond dump site in Tortola.

ROAD TOWN, British Virgin Islands — Some stored storm debris on Tortola ignited Tuesday evening, resulting in hazy skies on eastern St. Thomas and St. John, British Virgin Islands officials said.

Social media was abuzz that the burn was a systematic undertaking by the British Virgin Islands government — but it was not, said BVI Chief Fire Officer Zebalon McLean.

McLean said the fire started accidentally and had to be put out by firefighters at the Pockwood Pond dump site in Tortola.

The debris pile was still smoldering on Wednesday when the above photo was taken.

The Pockwood Pond dump site is prone to fires. On March 13, 2008 the site also caught fire.

FILE PHOTO: The Pockwood Pond dump site also caught fire on March 13, 2008.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands since 1989. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.

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