Rare 'underground' fire reported in Donna
Mon, 11 Apr 2011 22:25:13 GMT —
Another fire started over the weekend and was still smoldering Monday with some hot spots.
This one in Donna reported to be at an illegal dumping site and was burning underneath the dirt.
It happened near FM 493 and Mile 4 North.
There's smoke, ashes, and fire creeping out from below.
"By burning underground, it's releasing gases and other things that we're not sure what's in the air," said emergency management coordinator George Garrett.
Garrett said it's a residual fire burning underground on an illegal dumping site.
"What we need to urge everyone to do is not to illegal dump trash anywhere you feel like and with this dry conditions that we have right now, please do not start a fire outside anywhere anytime," said Garrett.
Garrett said the fire first started Saturday morning on the 100 acres of land that's near where Manuel Amaro lives.
"It's careless people's fault that there was this fire," said Amaro.
Amaro said there's always trash on this land that always blows onto his property.
"No one takes care of this property, and if there's trash here all the time then there will always be a possibility of a fire breaking out," said Amaro.
There's trash on top of trash from tires to shingles from roofs, and when that is all ablaze, the threat increases because potentially hazardous fumes could be seeping into the air that people breath.
Amaro said he can smell the smoke in his home.
"People tell me, ' oh you smell like you've been barbequing,' and I tell them I would have been the barbeque if the fire would have gotten to me," said Amaro.
To extinguish what's fueling underground, crews from Mcallen, Donna, Weslaco and Hidalgo County Precinct 1 are pumping water over 50 acres of the land to flood the fire.
Garrett said crews will be out here for as long as it takes fighting the fire by flooding the area.
Investigators are trying to find the owner of that land who may end up getting a bill for the cost of fighting the fire.