TRACY, Calif. (Dec. 1, 2000)—A scrap tire fire that has burned for the past two years at the Silas Royster pile in Tracy will be extinguished over a three-week period.
The state´s Integrated Waste Management Board has hired a contractor—Sukut Construction of Santa Ana, Calif.—to begin suppressing remaining hot spots within the smoldering pile Dec. 5. On Nov. 30, workers began preparing the site by moving away burn ash blocking access to the burning areas of the pile.
The effort is being coordinated with the Tracy Fire Department, San Joaquin County Public Health Services, San Joaquin Valley Air Quality Management District and California Air Resources Board.
An estimated 7 million tires at the Royster pile ignited Aug. 7, 1998. Because of the site´s bowl-shaped geography and limited past success with fire suppression efforts on similar sized tire fires, environmental and fire officials decided to let the tires burn to avoid groundwater contamination.
Once the fire is extinguished, officials will probe the site to determine residual contamination on the property.
The Waste Board approved $364,925 in funds in October to clean up the Tracy dump.