fire on Pine Ridge Reservation contained
The EPA has contained and smothered a landfill
fire on the Pine Ridge Reservation in southwest South Dakota.
When EPA responders arrived on site on June 12, the fire had
burned approximately 80 percent, or 5 acres, of the landfill.
EPA observed evidence of household hazardous waste, including
pesticide containers, paint cans and small drums, throughout
the burn zone. Responders also witnessed a noxious plume of smoke
drifting across the nearby highway. Initial air monitor measurements
taken indicated elevated levels of particulates, volatile organic
compounds and carbon monoxide. Due to the unconsolidated nature
of the waste in the landfill and the intensity of the fire, EPA
determined the fire would likely burn for months if not addressed.
A borrow pit was established south of the current landfill in
an area designated for future expansion. Solid waste in the existing
cell was excavated, placed and compacted in appropriate lifts
within the cell, and covered with soil to smother the fire. EPA
is now working on bolstering the cover over the landfill and
making sure there are no hot spots that could reignite.