Firefighters in north St. Louis County extinguished a surface fire that occurred at the Bridgeton Landfill on Friday evening.
It took two and a half hours for crews from the Pattonville and Robertson fire districts to put out the fire, which began approximately at 5 p.m. Because gas from Bridgeton Landfill’s infrastructure kept refueling the fire, firefighters had to switch to a tactic that required increasing the water supply, said Matt LaVanchy, assistant chief for the Pattonville Fire Protection District.
The event alarmed nearby residents, who have been concerned about the underground smoldering fire at the Bridgeton Landfill for several years. The landfill is also adjacent to the West Lake Landfill, a Superfund site that contains World War II-era radioactive waste.
Members of local activist group Just Moms STL livestreamed their observations of the event on Facebook.
“We will stay out here for as long as we have to, so that you guys see what’s happening and we can document this. Yes, we have masks,” said Dawn Chapman, the group’s co-founder. “This is a public-health emergency.”
Bridgeton Landfill officials shut off points of potential oxygen intrusion and the flare system that’s used to burn off gases, according to company spokesperson Richard Callow. The landfill’s air-quality monitors were operating during the surface fire event.
“The landfill team advises the surrounding community there should be a potential for off-site odor while site systems are inspected and repaired,” Callow said.
Landfill officials plan to conduct an inspection to find out what caused the fire.
Ask Curious Louis: What are your questions about the EPA's cleanup plan for West Lake Landfill?
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