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Extinguishing the Fire.
The first step in controlling the fire was to fill in the trenches previously excavated by the landfill owner. This action reduced the amount of air fanning the burn and made the landfill surface a safer work environment. Next, the fire zone was smothered with a 2 to 3 m thick lift of refuse. Over a two day period two D6 bulldozers were used to cover the fire zone with unburned waste, thus limiting the availability of oxygen and slowing down the rate of burn. As shown in  Photo5 and Photo6, this action dramatically reduced the rate of burn and the amount of smoke that the fire was emitting.

Initially, water was applied to the fire in high pressure streams from several high capacity monitors with a combined output in excess of 1,300 L/s. Although successful in extinguishing flames at surface, application of water was not effective in extinguishing the fire at depth. Instead, most of the water quickly ran off the surface to the landfill toe where pools of toxic black leachate were formed. The effectiveness of the monitors was increased by deploying the water at a reduced rate as a mist over the fire area. Also, to improve the penetrating properties of the water, Class-A foam was added at an application rate of 0.05%. 



Once the fire was brought under control, two large excavators and six CAT D350D articulated off-road trucks were mobilized to excavate and transport the burning waste from the horseshoe to the cool down areas. Because ignition of the main fill zone represented everyone's worst nightmare, the excavators were directed to work around the perimeter of the horseshoe until a reliable fireguard was established down to inert soil and concrete rubble. The remainder of the 250,000m(3) were then worked over.  



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