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Iqaluit dump fire extinguished after 4 months

The fire that has been burning at the Iqaluit dump since May 20 has been extinguished, says Mike Noblett, who has been managing the site.

Crews to monitor dump for the next 6 months to ensure pile doesn't reignite

Smoke pours from Iqaluit's dump fire as the operation to put it out begins at the beginning of September. The fire began on May 20. (Vince Robinet/CBC)

The Iqaluit dump fire has been extinguished, after nearly four months and numerous health advisories about the smoke hazard.  

"We have been able to reach the permafrost level underneath the entire pile that was burning," said Mike Noblett of Global Forensics, who has been managing the site. 

Noblett said temperature gauges show there is no longer any smouldering garbage. 

Crews are now packing down the garbage that was soaked with water and they will restack it into a safer pile. 

But Noblett said that won't be the end of his work. He will now train people at the dump to properly sort out combustible materials.

Iqaluit fire officials said the burning pile reached temperatures of 500 C. Noblett said crews will have to monitor the temperature of all of the piles at the dump for the next six months to ensure another fire does not begin again. 

Noblett said every Iqaluit resident can play a part in making sure there isn't another fire. 

"If you're taking stuff to the dump, make sure that you tell people what you do have," Noblett said.

"That part is really important, because they do have to make sure that they get some of that stuff out and away from the dump, so we're not putting the wrong stuff in the dump."

Noblett said people who work at the dump are already being told what materials should not go into the landfill, including mattresses, tires, batteries and large pieces of steel and glass.

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