Around 3pm yesterday afternoon, Wednesday 12 October 2016, Sea Rescue personnel spotted a large plume of smoke in the Blue Hill area whilst conducting a training exercise in Thompsons Bay.
The St Helena Fire Service was alerted and immediately attended the scene. They were able to confirm that the blaze was a forest fire on a ridge on Ebony Plain and was spreading rapidly.
At 5pm the Police, Fire, Sea Rescue, Emergency Planning and staff from the Agriculture & Natural Resources Division (ANRD) attended a planning meeting in Jamestown. Advice was sought regarding the wind direction which indicated that there was no imminent threat to human life.
A plan was then put in place to monitor the fire overnight using Fire Service and Police resources. In the event that the wind direction changed, a contingency plan had been formulated whereby several residential properties would have been evacuated.
At 7am this morning, Thursday 13 October 2016, a further planning meeting was held to discuss options for tackling the fire today. The Fire Service, assisted by ANRD and the St Helena National Trust, deployed to the Blue Hill area and over the course of the morning extinguished the fire.
The cause of the fire is unknown at this stage and there is no suggestion of any criminal activity. There were no injuries to any persons and no damage to residential properties.
Acting Chief of Police Steve Riley said:
“I would like to thank all those involved in tackling this fire, together with the residents in the Blue Hill area for their patience and understanding over the past 24 hours.
“Overall, this was a great team effort across SHG which brought the situation to a successful conclusion.”
13 October 2016