Fire at Carson landfill burns an acre of trash

Garbage that ignited at the Carson City landfill Saturday afternoon sent billows of black smoke roiling into the sky east of town, drawing firefighters from three agencies.

The fire, reported at 2:53 p.m., eventually burned about an acre of garbage, Carson City Fire Department battalion chief Stacey Giomi said.

The blaze started near where a small fire Friday had been covered with dirt to extinguish it, a landfill worker said.

Fire crews from the CCFD, the Nevada Division of Forestry and the Bureau of Land Management initially attacked the blaze with water from hoses.

As streams of water knocked down flames and turned to steam, the black column of smoke was diluted to gray. Every few minutes, something volatile in the trash would ignite and burp a small fireball upward.

Later, two of the tractors used at the landfill were employed to turn over garbage in the area and any flames that turned up were extinguished, Giomi said. By 4:30 p.m. the incident was in the mop-up phase and some fire crews and equipment were being released from the scene.

A fire department investigation of the cause of the fire had not been completed Saturday evening.

Marguerit Sanchez, an employee at the landfill, said Saturday's fire started near the spot where a small fire Friday had been buried with the use of a bulldozer. The fire department was not called to any fire at the landfill Friday, dispatch logs showed.

"Today I saw a small fire there and I tried to cover it by hand, but it was too quick. We called the boss and he brought a machine and tried to bury the fire, but it was too big," Sanchez said.

Mike Roes of Carson City was bringing a pickup loaded with trash into the landfill when he saw the fire, then still small.

"It was over at one end and they cut off anyone else from coming in after me," Roes said. "The thing was growing pretty fast and aerosol cans in the garbage began popping off.

"I had my two sons along, so I went to the other end of the line and emptied out real quick, then we pulled over here to watch."

Even before the first firefighting units reached the landfill, off Flint Drive next to the Lyon County-Carson City line, additional units were being called to the scene. Giomi said the effort eventually involved four units from the CCFD, four from the NDF and three from the BLM.

A dispatcher's broadcast reported that a landfill supervisor was pulling a water truck up next to the fire soon after the first fire crews arrived. A fire department supervisor requested the truck be pulled away from the area.


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