by Larry Smith
A stunning photo appeared on Facebook over the weekend. Taken from the stern of a small boat speeding away from New Providence, it showed the island entirely shrouded in toxic smoke from the exploding dump.
Other photos taken at night showed a still-raging dump fire when politicians and others were claiming the crisis was all but over.
And there were images of new bush fires burning unimpeded around the dump site, even as the government said it was calling in foreign experts to deal with the problem.
The path to the present crisis at the dump (it is one of many that have occurred over the years), began in the late 1970s, when the government phased out the Big Pond dump on Blue Hill Road and carved out a more remote site in the pine barren off Harrold Road.
A homeowner who has lived near the Harrold Road site since 1976 recalls how the surrounding area developed into a dense residential suburb over the years. Some of these communities had to be evacuated wholesale when the current fire began earlier this month. And it is still not known when they will be able to return.