Local News

New Stump-Dump Plan Is a Better-Burning Fire

Posted March 2, 2007

— The Triangle collected a bit more than an inch of rain overnight, but it did nothing to dampen the fire burning since Monday in and under a yard-waste dump in Johnston County. Firefighters are implementing a new plan.

Because the 1 million gallons a day of water that they have been pumping into the stump dump has had little or effect, officials think the answer may be to burn the buried material hotter and faster and with less smoke.

Friday, crews using power shovels began digging a 10-foot-deep hole and hoped to spread the fire to that hole, which would then act as a chimney and shoot the smoke up. Like a fireplace drawing well, that might make the fire burn faster and cleaner and without smoldering so much.

Heavy smoke and occasional poor air quality in the area have been the primary concerns since the fire began with spontaneous combustion in the buried logs and other material.

If the chimney plan doesn't work, officials said, they'll keep pouring water on the fire with the mechanical, unmanned system they have been using.

Johnston emergency management officials said Thursday that the fire could burn for weeks before running out of fuel if they can’t either put it out or use up the fuel faster. In some places, there is waste 70 feet deep to feed the fire, they said.

The landfill owner, Stump Dump Inc., has refused to have a representative speak with reporters.

The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources had cited the dump in December for how much waste it accepted and how it was covered, and the facility off Loop Road was to have been re-inspected this week.

The state has been monitoring air quality in the area for carbon monoxide levels, and some area residents now are wondering if the fire and the water being pumped into the ground will affect nearby wells.

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  • redsox Mar 4, 2007

    My bad! I'm sorry! mrcrosby is to whom I was speaking! Sorry crncrnd... I apologize!

  • ncwriter3 Mar 3, 2007

    And lest we forget the most important part of this...many, many thanks to all of our fire and environmental officials who are working tirelessly to try to help us all!! And thanks for the wonderful reverse 911 system, which should make us all feel a lot safer!

  • ncwriter3 Mar 3, 2007

    I think it's sad this has running commentary has turned into a north/south issue. I'd like to think we're all in this together and if we all pulled together in trying to support our community in solving this problem--not making it worse. No one--least of all the Boyettes, I'm sure--is happy to have to deal with the uncertainties brought about by the fire; but bickering won't help any of us. I'd really like to be seeing more productive attitudes on all parts. Just my take...for what it's worth. Wishing everyone the best in their efforts to get through this as best we can.

  • almama Mar 3, 2007

    I find it pretty interesting that the "neighbors" who are complaining are also the new residents to Archer Lodge, city folks who have moved out to the country and now want to dictate how the farmers and people who have always lived here should do things to their liking. The lady on tv makes me sick. Get out of here lady if you don't like it. The Boyettes are good people, active in their community for years. Yes the smoke is bad at times, but the Boyettes live right on top of it and do you think they meant this to happen? Part of southern hospitality is embracing your neighbors in times of trouble. We live 3 miles from the stump dump and are fully supporting the Boyettes as our neighbors and friends. Everyone else, move back to where you came from!

  • zodad Mar 3, 2007

    Hey redsox you responded to the wrong person....I'm on your side...maybe you should read carefully before you respond to comments..

  • redsox Mar 3, 2007

    I don't know what is up with "crncrnd", but I live in Riverwood Golf, and my house is 3500 sq. feet and my neighbors house is over 4000...so If you want to call that dumpy...But that had nothing to do with the Stump Fire. I think "crncrnd" just has way to much time on his hands! (Or is jealous!)
    It's a little unnerving when our Community Well is very close to all this...that is what I am most concerned with. So people, please stay on topic and stop bashing other people!

  • JoCoGrl Mar 3, 2007

    And by the way, it is not ignorance, it is common sense. This is not a chemical fire. It is like a woods fire. You know, like a great big camp fire. No big deal.

  • JoCoGrl Mar 3, 2007

    No, we've been trying to tell the complainers and whiners for years to go back if they don't like it. But, it has not worked. I think you really like it here and just don't want to admit it. I can't blame you for liking it here. The cost of living is so much less than up North and the folks here are a lot nicer than those in the North.

  • zodad Mar 3, 2007

    I knew there was a genetic explanation for the ignorance... ( years of smoke inhalation) yeah ya cleared the fields to grow tobacco (poison crop) that kills...and now the taxpayer has to be duped by the great "tobacco buyout"...what corruption!!! Ya forgot to tell us to go back where we came from...

  • JoCoGrl Mar 3, 2007

    Well, you can read some of these posts and tell that most of the people are not from around here.(Johnston County) Most of the people from here grew up having bon fire parties or having to burn off fields for new crops. We burned trash piles in the edge of fields or in big oil drums. That is until people started migrating here and complaining about everything.It is not the end of the world, it is just smoke. If I lived closer to it, my crowd and I would have made a party out of it like the old days. Nobody was killed or hurt so I don't see a whole lot to complain about. It was all contained in one area, no property damage so be happy.