The Iowa City landfill is closed to the public today because of the fire that has burned there since Saturday, but garbage collectors who make the rounds in residential areas are being allowed to dump their trucks at the landfill. The blaze reached the landfill’s shredded-tire liner this weekend, causing black smoke to rise from the site.
Rick Fosse, the public works director for Iowa City, says it will probably be several more days before the fire burns down. “We don’t have any experience with a fire like this,” he says. “We’re just judging it from other tire fires that we’ve been able to read about.”
Firefighters say they can’t knock this type of a fire down with water. Strong winds whipped the smoke around this weekend, but today’s calm winds mean the smoke is settling closer to the ground and causing more problems for the very young and very old, as well as those who have heart or respiratory problems. City officials estimate the fire may cause up to $5-million in damage.
It has burned nearly eight acres. The landfill covers about 400 acres and accepts garbage from Johnson County, Kalona and Riverside.
By Mark Carlson, KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids