Firefighters battle dump fire in Iqaluit

Another dump fire has broken out in Iqaluit, two years after the town dealt with a 'dumpcano' that lasted for nearly four months.

2014 fire at Iqaluit dump raged for 4 months

Flames are visible at the 'staging area' on fire around 6 p.m. Monday evening. (Kieran Oudshoorn/CBC)

Firefighters are battling a fire in the Iqaluit dump's "staging area," where metal and materials are gathered to ship south out of the community.

The fire began around 5 p.m. Monday evening and was still burning around 7 p.m.

It's not clear what caused the fire, which is sending a plume of smoke hundreds of feet into the air as firefighters pour water on the flames by the truckload. 

It's the first dump fire in the Nunavut capital since the summer of 2014, when a "dumpcano" raged for nearly four months, causing numerous health advisories about the smoke hazard. 

The temporary metal dump is right next to an area where sled dog owners tie up their teams in the off-season. 

Another view of the fire, burning not far from the place where sled dog owners tie up their teams. (Kieran Oudshoorn/CBC)

Sarah McNair Landry was feeding her sled dogs when she first spotted the blaze.

"I turned around and it was tiny, like a little campfire about halfway up the pile, and immediately, I was like, 'Oh that's not good.'" 

She called the fire department. 

"By the time they got here it was already huge." 

McNair Landry says she didn't see anything suspicious, or anyone around who could have started the fire. She suspects it started spontaneously. 

Dog team moved

She's already moved her dogs further away from the flames.

"Who knows how long this fire is going to burn for? How big it's going to burn? How hot it's going get? And the smoke?

"I just didn't want my dogs anywhere near that." 

Though not as big as the main dump, McNair Landry says the staging area is still a mass of combustibles. 

"It's a huge pile of cardboard and wood and everything else is thrown in there. I don't know how long this would burn for… I just hope they're able to put it out before it just gets out of control and burns like the last dump."