Officials say Iowa City landfill fire will burn into next week - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Officials say Iowa City landfill fire will burn into next week

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

Officials in Iowa City say that the fire that started at the landfill on Saturday, will burn into next week.

The fire, which is burning over a 7.5 acre section of the City's newest landfill cell, began Saturday evening.  Authorities believe someone dumped a "hot load" at the site, igniting the fire.

They say that while the intensity of the fire has decreased, the fire will continue to burn into next week.  Crews estimate that the equivalent of 1.3 million tires are burning.

Officials continue to monitor air quality and will begin to remove over two-hundred truckloads of tire chips that were isolated from the fire.

The tire chips are used as part of the liner for the landfill to protect the soil and water below.

Runoff created by the burning tires is being collected in the landfill's drainage system and being temporarily stored on site until external storage facilities are identified.

Crews continue to test extinguishing methods to see if they can find an alternative to letting the fire burn itself out.

Meanwhile, critics are blaming a state rule for the ongoing fire.

The Department of Natural Resources requires landfills to protect their clay lining during winter, and the Iowa City Public Works director said the landfill had no other options but to use an extra layer of tire chips.

While some said the regulation is unnecessary, the DNR said the rule is justified to protect the environment and the city had other options to comply.

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