Landfill fire in southeast Calgary extinguished
Fire out, but crews remain on scene, says battalion chief
A fire that broke out late Friday evening at a landfill in southeast Calgary has finally been extinguished, said the Calgary Fire Department.
As of Saturday afternoon, Battalion Chief Paul Frederick said the fire has been extinguished, but crews remain on scene to deal with hot spots and ensure the site is completely under control.
He said there were 30 firefighters on scene at the ECCO Recycling and Energy Corp, near 24th Street and Quarry Park Boulevard S.E., throughout the day.
"Crews that have been working there all day will be happy to get some rest and dinner in them tonight," Frederick said.
Environment Canada issued a special air quality statement for the city of Calgary, particularly in the southeast due to smoke from the fire causing "elevated levels of air pollutants in the area." That statement was lifted as of 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
The fire was first reported on Friday evening around 8:10 pm when the Calgary Fire Department (CFD) responded to multiple calls about a plume of smoke emanating from the Quarry Park area.
Smoke could be seen from various points in the city; flames could be seen from nearby roads. When crews arrived, they saw large volumes of smoke coming from a "large rubble pile landfill," a CFD news release said.
Firefighters went to the top of the landfill where landfill staff were using heavy equipment to try and extinguish the fire, the release said.
Staff used a large bulldozer to put out the fire, but it sustained mechanical failure and was "quickly overcome" by the fire, the release said.
The operator was able to get out unharmed, it added. But once the bulldozer was engulfed in flames, the fire spread to construction materials across the area, Frederick told CBC News.
The landfill mostly contains construction waste and dry fill. Frederick estimates the fire grew to the size of four football fields.
Getting water to douse the flames was a particular challenge for firefighters, because the nearest hydrant was about one kilometre away from the scene, the news release said.
Crews resorted to using a remote water supply and hose streams. Members of the Calgary Police Service, CP Rail and Alberta Environment all came to the scene to assist with resources.
The cause of the fire is still unknown.
With files from Dominika Lirette, Helen Pike, Jade Markus