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PHOTOS: Iowa City Landfill Fire Halfway Covered, Fire Expected to Continue Burning Underground

After being delayed by blowing smoke, stir, burn and cover has resumed and is making progress city officials said.


Despite a due to blowing smoke, the of the fire appears to be going well, according to city officials.

Since starting this Monday, the city staff working with outside experts has been able to stir the landfill into burning itself out at a faster rate, then covered nearly half of the with clay soil.

According to a media release, the city expects to have the whole burning sector stirred and covered by sometime next week. Still, the fire will continue to burn for some time after that, and some flare ups could occur that will have to be addressed by the Iowa City Fire Department.

Despite the fact that this should slowly lesson the black cloud of smoke, which has been lingering on the Iowa City horizon since the fire started on Memorial Day weekend, city officials say residents in the Iowa City area should still practice precaution if the smoke cloud blowing their way, especially if they are very young, elderly, or have pre-existing breathing ailments such as asthma.

Precautions include staying inside in a room with central-air, which should sufficiently filter the smoke, according to the Johnson County Department of Public Health.

City officials are also working to deal with thousands of gallons of pyrolitic oil that is being produced by the burning tires liquidating in the fire. According to the city, approximately 38,000 gallons of the highly flammable oil has been captured and shipped offsite to out-of-state locations. The remaining oil, roughly 80,000 gallons of the stuff, has been successfully transferred into enclosed storage tanks.

The city repots that it could take several weeks to completely deal with the oil problem, and more oil will be produced by the fire as it burns underground.

The city reiterated in the release that the city expects the fire to cost the city up to $6 million when all damagers are taken into consideration. The city has filed an insurance claim, but it will clearly take weeks for insurance adjustors to inspect the site.

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