Courtesy VBFD Photographer Ray Smith
Virginia Beach Firefighters spent six hours on Tuesday evening struggling to get a landfill fire under control.
Emergency workers were called to the City Landfill and Resource Recovery Center just off of Centerville Turnpike at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 11. Trash in the landfill had caught fire, with the flames quickly spreading across the mountains of garbage.
It took the Virginia Beach Fire Department six hours to put out the blaze. Fire crews from Chesapeake also helped in the effort.
[caption id="attachment_996" align="aligncenter" width="467"] Courtesy VBFD Photographer Ray Smith
The Fire Department's readings indicated that there were no abnormal toxins present in the smoke. With that, the VBFD concluded the blaze did not pose any environmental threat to the area or its surrounding houses. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.
It is not uncommon for fires to break out at landfills. Landfills function by using anaerobic bacteria to decompose organic matter over long periods of time. This decomposition process produces methane gas, which is highly flammable. Because the decomposition process also produces tremendous amounts of heat energy, landfills are typically designed to safely vent out methane gasses to try to prevent these sorts of spontaneous fires.