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Foam-Water Mix Is New Tack to Tackle Stump Dump Fire

Posted March 7, 2007

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— Firefighting crews in Johnston County are taking a new approach to extinguishing the fire that has burned for more than a week at a yard-waste landfill near Clayton.

Wednesday, volunteer firefighters from the Archer Lodge Fire Department began applying a foam-water mixture to the fire, which is burning underground in stumps and logs buried as deep at 70 feet.

The Johnston County Emergency Management Department said the mixture will be tested through Thursday. If it works on the test area, firefighters will extend the application to the whole fire area, the department said.

They said the foam is considered safe for the environment. Some residents who get drinking water from nearby wells had expressed concern last week about the effect that pumping large volumes of water into the fire might have on them.

A shipment of 37 drums, which equates to 2,035 gallons of foam, is expected on Friday morning, the county said.

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  • Punky Mar 8, 2007

    Maybe they should contact Durham's government on how to extinguish landfill fires. They're the experts on this...right??

  • Dave Green Mar 8, 2007

    When I was much younger as a volunteer fireman in Virginia we had an underground landfill fire that would not go out. For days and days we poured water on it to no avail. After a while someone came up with the idea of driving pipes into the smoking cavities and forcing air into the chambers that seemed impervious to water. A day later the fire had burned itself out. End of story.

  • What The Deuce Mar 8, 2007

    If anyone read this please help me understand something. It is my understanding that the fire is underground therefore it can not be extinguished. How does fire burn underground with what I ASSUME is a limited oxygen supply. Im just curious. I do hope this thing burns out quickly, Im sure its getting old by now. Good Luck.