Iqaluit officials say dump fire could last 2 to 3 months

A week and a half ago city council decided to let the fire burn rather than fight it, after the fire chief pointed out it would take too much potable water to try to put it out and then landfill contaminants could leach into the bay.

Smoke from "dumpcano" a concern for residents

Smoke from the fire at the Iqaluit landfill can be seen from anywhere in the city. Greg Babstock tweeted this photo May 29, a week and a half after the city council voted to stop fighting the blaze. (Greg Babstock/Twitter)

Iqaluit officials say the fire at the city's landfill could burn for two to three months, after council voted last week to stop fighting the blaze.

City council decided to let the fire burn rather than fight it, after the fire chief pointed out it would take too much potable water to try to put it out and the water could leach landfill contaminants into the bay.

The smoke from the fire has become a concern for residents after Nunavut health officials warned people with heart or lung conditions, along with infants and the elderly, to avoid breathing it. 

At this week's city council meeting, some councillors were also concerned keeping people away from the dump fire could be diverting too many police from regular duties.

Councillor Kenny Bell said there have been more complaints about speeding drivers. He said more officers blocking roads near the landfill means fewer keeping their eyes on the rest of the city.

"People are driving at far too fast a rate and we need our municipal enforcement out there to make sure that the people are following the speed limits."

Bell says the city should put a barricade across the road which can be moved when water trucks need to pass through the area.