Myanmar firefighters tackle days-long garbage dump blaze

The fire quickly spread across an area of some 40ha, blanketing parts of the commercial hub with foul smelling smoke.
The fire quickly spread across an area of some 40ha, blanketing parts of the commercial hub with foul smelling smoke.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/KAUNG HTET

YANGON (AFP) - Myanmar firefighters said on Wednesday (April 25) they have brought under control a blaze in a massive garbage dump on the edge of the country's biggest city Yangon after several days of battling the flames.

The conflagration started Saturday and quickly spread across an area of some 40ha - a third of the garbage dump - blanketing parts of the commercial hub with foul smelling smoke.

Some 160 soldiers on Tuesday joined 450 firefighters and their dozens of fire trucks to help fight the blaze around the clock while local people and monks have brought food and water to those on the frontline.

Even away from the flames, temperatures have rocketed in recent days to a sweltering 38 degrees as the country hits peak hot season.

"The fire is now under control," deputy director of the Myanmar Fire Service Department Win Win told AFP, adding that they would need "some time" to put it out completely.

As night fell on Wednesday evening, small pockets of flames fanned by the breeze continued to burst up around the troops and firefighters from the vast, putrid pile of smouldering garbage.

There have been no casualties and the cause of the blaze is still unknown - an investigation will be conducted once it is fully extinguished.

"There are small fires every year at this dumpsite but this year is the biggest we have seen," Win Win said.