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EPA Emergency Crews Successful in Snuffing Tire Fire (South Dakota)

Release Date: 10/21/2011
Contact Information: Kerry Guy, (303) 312-7288; Matthew Allen, (303) 312-6085

Contact: Kerry Guy, (303) 312-7288; Matthew Allen, (303) 312-6085

(Denver, Colo -, October 21, 2011) On October 10, 2011, EPA Emergency Response crews completed extinguishing a tire pile fire adjacent to the Rosebud Sioux Reservation landfill, which was burning approximately three miles west of Carter, South Dakota. The fire started as a result of the Okreek fire which burned an 18-mile path through the reservation before being contained, including the landfill where the tire pile was located.

“We’re glad to have had such a fast rate of success on putting out the fire,” said Kerry Guy, EPA On-Scene Coordinator. “The assistance provided by the Rosebud Solid Waste Management and Okreek Fire Operations to EPA's response efforts were extremely helpful in containing and extinguishing this fire in a timely manner. “

EPA began its emergency response October 8th. EPA responders dug a 10 to 15 foot wide by 5 foot deep trench along the east and south sides of the tire pile with an excavator. The tire pile was extinguished by pushing it into the trench and covering it with soil. EPA response activities continued until October 10th when the south end of the tire pile was pushed into the trench and covered with soil and the soil cover was graded and compacted.

Tire fires commonly produce pyrolytic oils which can affect the land and endanger nearby surface and ground water sources if not contained. Additionally, high levels of particulate emissions and acrid smoke can be released as a result of burning tires, affecting human health for nearby workers and residents.

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