It's been three months since Iqaluit's dump caught fire and it will be at least a week until fire crews are ready to start fighting it.
The City of Iqaluit has not hired a contractor to extinguish the fire, but it plans to do so before this Monday, Aug. 25, when residents will get the chance to ask questions at a public meeting.
At a special meeting on Monday, councillors passed the Landfill Suppression Bylaw, allowing city officials to bypass regular purchasing rules when paying for things related to the dump fire.
That means the city won't have to consider contractors other than the company recommended by landfill fire expert Tony Sperling. It should also speed up purchases of special equipment since the city won't have to provide a month for companies to submit proposals.
"So now time is of the essence for sure and everything can be compounded," said Fire Chief Luc Grandmaison.
"The later they get a contract, then the later the job can start. They cannot just arrive here, they have to fly their equipment here."
Grandmaison estimates that the contractor will be hired and equipment and firefighters will arrive in Iqaluit by the middle of next week, so that they can begin work on the extinguishing the dump fire on Aug. 27.
Iqaluit's fire department was first called to the dump on May 20, but Fire Chief Luc Grandmaison believes the fire is the same one that's been burning off and on since the beginning of 2014. To prevent future dump fires, the city has begun separating combustible materials, although that program has already has some setbacks.
The city says residents should ask any questions they have about the dump fire, its effects on health and the environment and sustainable garbage collection at a public meeting on Monday at St. Jude’s Anglican Church Parish Hall from 6 to 9 p.m.