Investigation:  Dumpsite at Santiago Canyon & Silverado Canyon

Silverado Canyon Disposal Station #9 accepted trash until the late 1960s.  The dumpsite is located near Santiago Canyon and Silverado Canyon, where a large fire erupted in October 2007.  Highly explosive and highly flammable methane gas is generated within landfills up to 100 years after closure.  Did gases and fires within the closed dump cause the Santiago Canyon fire?  Our investigation continues…….

PITS featured in OC Weekly

Santiago Incident Report, Orange County Fire Authority

Facility/Site Summary, California Integrated Waste Management Board

LANDFILL FIRES: Their Magnitude, Characteristics & Mitigation, FEMA

Excerpts from the FEMA report:

    "The mixing of certain materials in a landfill can result in spontaneous combustion.  Even in small quantities, some chemicals can ignite if exposed to one another....Of particular concern with these long-smoldering, underground fires is the fact they tend to smolder for weeks to months at a time.  This can cause a build up of the byproducts of combustion in confined areas such as landfill site buildings or surrounding homes, which adds an additional health hazard....Landfill fires that result from spontaneous combustion gradually increase as the weather warms, dropping in September.  The peak period, however, occurs in October and November, when 22 percent of the spontaneous combustion fires occur."

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