Calgary fire crews told Global News just before noon Saturday that a “stubborn” fire that had burned overnight at ECCO Recycling plant is now under control.
Fire crews were called just after 8 p.m. Friday to the southeast community of Quarry Park and fought the blaze into Saturday.
“The fireplace quickly grew in size and volume, and fire crews were forced to intervene with a distant water supply and hose streams,” in accordance with a Calgary fire department press release. “Water supply was a challenge for teams as the closest hydrant was nearly one kilometre from the hearth.”
In keeping with Calgary fire, “the contents of the landfill are noted as construction waste and dry fill.”
There was also an incredibly close call for one in every of the landfill staff.
“A big bulldozer being utilized by landfill staff to extinguish the hearth suffered a mechanical failure then was quickly overcome by the hearth,” in accordance with the Calgary fire department. “The operator was in a position to exit the machine unharmed and retreated to safety.”
Calgary Police, CP Rail (which has a site bordering the plant) and Alberta Environment also attended the scene to help.
Battalion Chief Paul Frederick said Saturday afternoon that while the hearth is under control, it could take a while to completely extinguish the flames.
“It’s been under control for some time. It’s just going to take a big period of time to get to the seat of the hearth to completely extinguish it,” he said.
“Anytime you get a fireplace in a landfill, it’s deep-seated and it’s very difficult to extinguish without heavy equipment and numerous water.
“Deep-seated when it comes to that it’s six or eight or 10 feet deep into the earth and it’s a mix of all types of construction materials which are smouldering.”
Fighting the blaze has been hours and tens of individuals within the making, and the efforts are still ongoing.
“Right away we have now 25 people here and about 12 pieces of apparatus,” Frederick said. “Through the night that’s been upwards of 30 to 40 people.”
Frederick added that fires have broken out on different landfills over time, but in the event that they’re not immediately contained then they will turn right into a much greater issue, just like the one seen in Calgary, as a consequence of the quantity of fabric in the world.
“I believe the most important problem is that for those who’re unable to get them while they’re small they will expand to the dimensions that this one is now, and it becomes difficult for us to place out. It takes a substantial period of time,” Frederick said.
“The landfill itself is essentially a mountain of trash that’s been buried. That trash has ignited and in places that fireside is six or eight feet deep into the earth.”
In an announcement to Global News Saturday, Jason Doering, president of the DouglasQuarry Community Association, said he has full confidence the recycling plant’s future operations won’t be in jeopardy from this hearth.
“We’ve no concerns with ECCO’s operations and are confident they are going to responsibly remediate the impacts of the hearth, conduct a radical root cause evaluation and take steps to forestall similar incidents in the longer term, to the extent the basis cause was inside their control,” Doering said.
Environment Canada issued a special air quality statement for the City of Calgary shortly after 8 a.m., which later ended just after 1 p.m., but that doesn’t mean Calgarians won’t still be smelling the results of the hearth because the afternoon wears on.
“This is strictly what you’d expect coming off of a landfill site,” Frederick said. “It’s not a really nice odour and positively anybody that’s experiencing any form of respiration difficulties or issues with that needs to be contacting 911.”
Fire crews are expected to stay on scene for much of the day.
The reason behind the hearth remains to be under investigation but no injuries have been reported.