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A Case Study at the Campbell Mountain Landfill, Penticton, British Columbia

The Fire Suppression Plan.
The fundamental principal behind the development of the fire suppression plan was the removal of one of the links of the Fire Triangle. The fire triangle indicates that in order for a fire to be created, a fuel source, an ignition source or high temperatures, and ad oxygen supply are required.

When considering the alternatives within the scope of this project, the fuel source (being the refuse) could not be economically removed, there was no room to stockpile extinguished material, an open excavation would fuel the fire and possibly allow it to migrate quickly towards the main landfill, large amounts of leachate would be generated, and the excavation process would place workers in hazardous conditions. With respect to the source of the ignition, it was not clearly known what the source of ignition was, and therefore it could not be treated (although hydrogen sulfide reacting with metal or elevated temperatures associated with sludge decomposition are definite possibilities). The only alternative remaining was to eliminate the oxygen supply to the fire.

The fire suppression plan that was developed consisted of the following three phases:

Phase 1 - Install an impervious clay cap over the landfill crest in conjunction with shotcrete seals along with the edges.

Phase 2 - Install a membrane cap over the clay cover once ground conditions are stabilized, vents are eliminated and no hot spots remain.

Phase 3 - Install a grout seal at the landfill crest.

In order to minimize the possible costs, the plan was to implement each phase sequentially and to proceed to the next phase only if monitoring indicated that the fire was not subsiding. Each phase was therefore designed to compliment the existing works and to further decrease the possibility of atmospheric air entering the landfill.


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