The Irrawaddy

With Yangon Trash Fire Mostly Under Control, Authorities Tackle Smoke

YANGON — A fire that has been burning at Yangon’s largest dumpsite since Saturday has been brought mostly under control, the regional government announced Wednesday, but warned that smoke from the site continued to pose a health risk.

“About 80 percent of the fire is now under control, but what we can’t control is smoke,” Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein said at a meeting about the fire, according to a statement the regional government released Wednesday afternoon.

The chief minister said bio-foam, a fire suppression detergent, would be used to cut down on the smoke. The statement added that the government would import 1,800 gallons of the foam from Thailand within 36 hours.

The fire at the 17-year-old Htein Pin landfill in Hlaing Thaya Township started on Saturday, sending smoke across nearby townships and raising public health concerns.

As of Wednesday, 13 patients were being treated at a local hospital after inhaling smoke from the blaze. U Phyo Min Thein said air quality had been tested at five locations near the dump and that the results would be made public.

The Yangon City Development Committee, Myanmar Fire Services Department and Yangon Military Command are collaborating to put out the fire using a combined 800 personnel, according to the regional government.