Local News

Sprinklers Used to Drench Flames of Stump Dump Fire

Posted March 10, 2007 2:17 p.m. EST

— Fire crews at the scene of a fire smoldering in a Johnston County stump dump are using a new technique this weekend to try to douse the flames.

According to Johnston County fire officials, crews began installing 75 sprinkler heads in the area of the dump off Loop Road near Clayton. The sprinklers act like slow rain and slowly saturate the ground, authorities said.

Over a dozen area volunteer firefighters were at the scene of the smoldering fire Saturday, giving Clayton firefighters a short respite from battling the blaze.

According to fire officials, thermal imaging equipment brought to the site of the stump dump fire Friday detected one area that was believed to be a hot spot. However, crews found Saturday that it wasn’t an area that would create problems for firefighters.

Officials said Saturday that there is still no indication on when the fire will be completely extinguished.

Crews have been pouring water onto the surface for almost two weeks, but the logs, stumps and yard waste is as much as 70 feet deep, and the deluge has had little effect. Neither did over an inch of rain that fell a few days after the fire broke out.

Previously, crews have dug deep fire lines to keep the fire from spreading and have pumped a foam-water mixture onto it. Water curtains are also being used around the exterior of the fire, and excavators are attempting to dig up some of the fire so it can be more easily extinguished.

At times, the fire drove some neighbors from their homes and had made breathing difficult. One evening, it could be smelled in Raleigh and caused some fire alarms to go of at N.C. State University. More recently, winds have shifted and have taken smoke away from nearby homes.