City of Iqaluit declares dump fire out

The City of Iqaluit says the dump fire that started Monday evening has been extinguished but the area remains closed to the public.

Fire that started Monday evening has been extinguished but area remains closed

The fire at the Iqaluit city dump is out, according to the City of Iqaluit. (Kieran Oudshoorn/CBC)

The Iqaluit dump fire that started Monday evening has been extinguished, according to the City of Iqaluit.

"The fire at the West 40 landfill staging area has been extinguished. The area remains closed to the public," stated a tweet sent from the official City of Iqaluit account.

The fire was in the dump's "staging area," where metal and materials are gathered to ship south out of the community.

Crews, including volunteer firefighters, arrived at the scene 20 minutes after the fire started and worked all night, according to Stephane Dionne, Iqaluit's deputy fire chief.

Firefighters used heavy machinery to separate the burning debris and keep it from spreading.

It's not clear what caused the fire, which sent plumes of smoke into the air Monday night.

Public health advisory

The Department of Health issued an air quality alert on Tuesday morning, advising Iqaluit residents to stay indoors and avoid the smoke.

The fire was still smouldering Tuesday morning. (Kieran Oudshoorn/CBC)
They also said the elderly, children, pregnant women and people with asthma, heart or lung disease should stay away from the area and keep windows and doors closed.

This is the first dump fire in Iqaluit since the summer of 2014, when a "dumpcano" raged for nearly four months, causing numerous health advisories about the smoke hazard. 

Trucked services suspended

Firefighters poured truckloads of water on the fire Monday night. (Kieran Oudshrorn/CBC)
Redfern also said on Facebook that regular trucked services will be suspended on Tuesday in Iqaluit.

"Trucked water crews were assisting firefighters all night and that is why regular trucked services are suspended for today," Redfern said.

"[The] City will be able to deliver limited water to those residents who have run out of water or think they will."

Regular trucked water services will resume on Wednesday.