Showing posts with label tire fire. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tire fire. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Hot spots linger during Hoopeston tire fire cleanup, FOIA filed

Firefighters attempt to extinguish the tire fire at J&R Used Tire Service in Hoopeston, Ill., on June 19. Photo by Dan Johnson.
State environmental officials are continuing to monitor the site where a massive tire fire broke out 43 days ago, citing new concerns about dust during the cleanup process.

According to the Champaign News-Gazette, officials from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) say the site has dried out since firefighters poured hundreds of thousands of gallons of water on the tire fire at J&R Used Tire Service in Hoopeston, Ill. on June 19. This is creating an issue for "tire dust," which can not be kept down with more water.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A massive, toxic tire fire, and how citizen sensor journalism could have informed a community in crisis.

A fire at a tire disposal plant in the small town of Hoopeston, Ill., polluted the skies for hours. Photo by @JonathonLinares.
At 5:30 am on Wedneday, June 19, a spark generated by static electricity at J&R Used Tire Service started a fire that would black out the sky for miles around the small town of Hoopeston, Ill.

Initial reports from fire crews suggested the fire could burn for days. By the time it was extinguished the next day, more than 100 firefighters from two states had come to snuff the tire fire, about 500 homes had been evacuated, and rail service through the town was shut down.

According to the Champaign-Urbana NPR affiliate WILL, state environmental officials requested that the state's attorney general to issue a court order to stop the business until it's determined how the fire started, how safe the business is, and what kind of environmental impact this fire had on the community.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency seems primarily concerned with the air and water at the moment. A tremendous amount of water was used to extinguish the blaze, and that water has been contaminated with the byproducts of burning tires.

Obviously, there's a great deal of burning material that was sent into the air. IEPA has been monitoring the air in Hoopeston (pop. 5,321), but that data hasn't been made public on any sort of accessible website.