Saturday night there was a large dark smoke cloud, something was definitely on fire. The closer to Todd drove to work, the more he wondered if his place of business was on fire. NOPE, the landfill was. (Close enough!) The last worker left around 4:30 and everything was fine from what they all thought, however at 6:45 a dark black cloud of smoke and flames came from the landfill. Someone had dropped something hot material in the landfill causing a fire to burn. And burn it is doing...still! 7.5 acres is burning and according to the city it will burn for several days still, then smolder for several days. Temperatures of this fire as reached 1.200 degrees. The fire can be seen as far as Cedar Rapids and this is a little over 27 miles away.
Exactly what is on fire? Our landfill is lined with a type of rubber, at this time it is the rubber liner that is burning, so it is not only black smoke but the smell of rubber burning as well. There are firefighters stationed to keep an eye on the situation to make sure nothing goes out of control. According to city officials based on research it will be best to let it burn because if they put it out, it can cause potential environmental impact. What I am not sure but that is what the officials are saying. Our landfill is on the edge of the city limit because of this smoke, the air is being tested and all test have come back in the normal range. Due to the Clean Air Act the DNR has a constructed an air monitoring device at a nearby elementary to keep monitoring the air. The city is still collecting garbage and the workers still go to the landfill to dump their trucks, it is only closed to the public from going to drop off garbage. They are telling those who are young, old, and those who have breathing problems to limit their activity outdoors. If they are saying this, it makes me wonder how "normal" is our air actually reading with the test. How much lung damage will the firefighters or workers have from this fire? My Mother heard about the fire in Des Moines, according to her the news is reporting that everyone should limit their activities outdoors due to the quality of air. It makes one wonder how accurate the news really is.
All pictures are from our city paper, The Press Citizen