EXTINGUISHING THE DELTA SHAKE AND SHINGLE LANDFILL FIRE
Three ingredients are necessary to initiate and sustain a landfill
fire: 1) a fuel supply, 2) oxygen and 3) a high temperature ignition
source. These three components define the "Fire Triangle".
Extinguishment of a landfill fire can be realized by removing
any one of the fire triangle components.
In determining the most effective
method of fire extinguishment at the Delta Shake and Shingle site,
the following six methods were considered.
- Accelerated high temperature
- Capping of the landfill burn
area with soil;
- Capping of the burn area with
- Flooding the burn area with
water from the Fraser River;
- Injecting an inert gas such
as CO(2) to displace oxygen; and
- Excavating the burning material
and then extinguishing it with foam.
The idea of accelerating the burn
was abandoned due to air quality concerns and the risk of spreading
fire into the main fill zone. Capping of the landfill with soil
was discounted due to the risk of initiating further slope failures
on the steep side slopes. Application of a geomembrane cap was
not considered practical on the steep slopes approaching 1.sH:1V.
Also, there were concerns that the membrane would melt before
the fire was extinguished. Flooding the burn area with large volumes
of water was not pursued due to geotechnical stability concerns
and potential leachate impacts. Oxygen displacement using CO(2)
was not considered practical due to the porous nature of the waste
and the lack of cover soils that would prevent the injected gas
The only practical method of extinguishment
was to excavate the burning material and then transport it to
a lay down area where it could be soaked with water and extinguished.
Health and Safety Issues