Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut March 28, 2014 - 7:18 am

Iqaluit’s overflowing dump once again catches fire

Nunavut capital's garbage dump closed until April 1, following blaze that covered 150 square metres

DAVID MURPHY
A City of Iqaluit municipal enforcement truck blocks the West 40 road that leads past he burning Iqaluit dump around 2:30 p.m. March 27. The City of Iqaluit said the fire started around 1 p.m. and
A City of Iqaluit municipal enforcement truck blocks the West 40 road that leads past he burning Iqaluit dump around 2:30 p.m. March 27. The City of Iqaluit said the fire started around 1 p.m. and "was brought under control within the hour." Firefighters were still working hot spots at around 6:30 p.m. and the road was blocked well into the evening. (PHOTO BY DAVID MURPHY)

For the second time in four months, Iqaluit firefighters have doused a fire at Iqaluit’s overflowing dump.

Fire crews rushed to the landfill at Iqaluit’s West 40 subdivision just after 1 p.m. March 27, when they saw 150 square metres of burning debris.

“Fire was brought under control within an hour,” a City of Iqaluit news release said.

“The fire was located close to the main entrance and was easily accessible to fire crew,” the release said.

But plumes of smoke and steam were visible hours later, and as of 6:30 p.m. fire crews were still working to deal with hot spots.

City officials said they don’t know who or what started the fire, but did say there were no injuries.

Iqaluit’s public works staff helped to provide water, as well as heavy equipment.

A new $14-million waste site, equipped with a new incinerator, is expected in 2015 or 2016.

It will be located 8.5 kilometres northwest of the city centre.

The Iqaluit landfill will now close its doors until April 1.

“The reason for the closure is to prevent the fire from reigniting. The fire department does not authorize any activity at the landfill,” a City of Iqaluit public service announcement said.

Iqaluit’s fire chief and director of emergency and protective services, Luc Grandmaison also thanked city employees, full time and volunteer fire fighters alike.

A smaller fire, covering almost 40 square metres, had fire crews scrambling last December.

That time, the city believed high-temperature decomposition and a mix of chemicals might have started that fire.

 

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