April 22, 2005 – Dark clouds moved in over St. Croix in late afternoon and the rain started to come down hard at about 6 p.m. Friday. It had to spread relief among the island's firefighters, since a large brush fire was refusing to go out.
Reports said over 200 acres of open land on the east end of the island had been consumed in the fire Thursday. Although no injuries or damage to buildings were reported, firefighters were keeping busy making sure it stayed that way.
The island had been experiencing a dry spell and this fire, a suspected arson, was just the latest in a series of brush fires.
Guests, who woke up in the middle of the night reported smelling smoke at the Buccaneer Resort even though the fire was a distance away. In the morning the reports were that everything was under control, but about 4:30 p.m. the hill above the resort appeared to once again burst into flames sending smoke down on the East End highway.
Besides the recent grass fires, St. Croix firefighters had to deal with a fire that destroyed the East End Bound bar and restaurant in Mount Welcome earlier this month, and a couple fires in car lots earlier this week. The bar fire was started as a grease fire in the kitchen. (See "Fire Destroys Mt. Welcome Business"). The fires at the storage lot for cars are believed to have been deliberately set.
After the first heavy cloudburst, light showers continued for a couple hours. More rain is predicted through the weekend. Maybe life for St. Croix firefighters will be a little easier in the coming weeks.
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