SCOTT, La. (KLFY) – A fire at a tire landfill in Scott is becoming a major concern for local and parish officials.
Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory declared the landfill a fire emergency on Christmas eve. People who live near the landfill say they worry the smoke fumes could be hazardous to their health. Fire officials say spontaneous combustion is also a concern. Over the Christmas holidays, crews came in to try to minimize the fumes coming from the landfill.
“The heat from the fire underneath [the tires] dried out the dirt and made a lot of cracks. So what the company did was they came in and put three feet of dirt on top of that and packed it down, kind of to minimize the vapors of gas. It’s still on fire, and it’s still underneath the ground. It’s just looking for other ways to get out, but it will buy us a little time until we can get a solution,” Scott Fire Chief Chad Sonnier said.
Chief Sonnier says this is only a temporary fix. Adding dirt on top of the tires is stopping the potentially toxic fumes from escaping and spreading into nearby areas and neighborhoods.
“We met with parish and elected officials, and it seemed in our opinion that the fire was growing a little. So that’s when the mayor-president declared a state of emergency for this area because of upmost importance is the citizens around here and protecting their health and well-being. What that did, that allowed us to get the equipment you see behind me. They were over here on Christmas Eve, night and on Christmas day and today from sun up to sun down to get the ground covered, where the vapors were coming through that were being an nuisance to the neighbors,” Chief Sonnier added.
So far, it’s working to keep the smoke and fumes trapped underground.
“State officials, parish officials, and local fire department and private contractors are all working together, so we can minimize the exposure to any type of hazards or toxins to the citizens in this area,” the chief told News Ten.
On Tuesday, the Department of Environmental Quality will meet to discuss options to put this fire out permanently.