North Tulsa Landfill Shut Down Due To Smoldering Trash Fire

Thursday, August 5th 2010, 8:09 am
By: News On 6

By Chris Wright, The News On 6

TULSA, OK --  A massive trash fire continues to burn at a North Tulsa landfill.  The landfill is located at 56th Street North just east of U.S. Highway 75.

Landfill employees claim a late evening lightning strike sparked the fire that quickly began spewing foul-smelling smoke into the air.

"It looked like fireworks going off," said Sandra Gray, a Turley resident. "There was fireworks and it was banging and booming."

Sandra Gray lives next to the landfill, and is accustomed to the aroma that comes with it. But she said the smell from this fire is overwhelming, if not entertaining.

"We were trying to figure out what to do last night," she said. "We were bored. So we had something to do, sit and watch the fire."

Others were less amused. Turley Firefighters stayed up all night monitoring the fire, but determined that the only option is to let it burn.

"The fire last night was way too hot," Captain David Morgan, Turley Fire Department said. "The wind was blowing different directions all through the night, so we couldn't do anything."

The fire continued to smolder Thursday as workers poured dirt on it. The Environmental Protection Agency dispatched a team from Dallas. They will determine whether or not the smoke poses any threat to those breathing it, like for a crew installing a natural gas line nearby.

"The wind's kept most of it off of us," Ronnie Spurgeon, Adams Affiliates, said. "But every once in a while you'll get a pretty good whiff, and it will make you step back a little bit."

No one is sure just how long the trash will burn. It could be days, weeks, or months. So Sandra Gray will no choice but to get used to the smell.

"Use lots of incense and air freshener. Stay in the house," she said.

This is the second recent fire at the landfill. Firefighters say a smaller blaze was sparked just last month on the other side of the hill.