Volunteer fire fighters and a machine operator contained a fire at Grand Forks’ landfill Tuesday night, Aug. 3, preventing a potentially disastrous inferno.
Dep. Chief Rich Piché said Grand Forks Fire/Rescue (GFFR) was called to a wood chip fire at the Grand Forks Regional Landfill (8798 Granby Rd) at around 11 p.m. The fire had started earlier in the day, when a stockpile of wood chips self-ignited. That fire was largely contained by landfill workers, who soaked the pile with water and then covered most of it with clay, according to site supervisor Rob McGregor.
Piché said overnight winds likely reignited the fire at the base of the pile, giving off a brilliant glow spotted from Granby Road. A hulking pile of green waste next to the wood chips did not catch fire.
“If someone hadn’t called that in, there was massive potential for a serious wildfire,” he told The Gazette Wednesday morning, adding that, “If the wind had been going against us, we’d still be there right now.”
Eight volunteer fire fighters joined Piché and one of the landfill’s machine operators in tackling the fire. The department left the scene around two hours later, having put 2,800 gallons of water onto the pile.
Site supervisor Rob McGregor said landfill crews took over at around 6:30 Wednesday morning.
No buildings caught fire and there is no serious risk of a larger area wildfire.