On Wednesday afternoon, firefighters were called to the Alliance landfill to battle a blaze that has no known cause.

“This fire is one where we’re never really going to know what the issue is because it could have been spontaneous combustion, that could have been just about anything,” said Alliance Volunteer Fire Department Chief Troy Shoemaker. “They stack those bales based on their licensing, so there’s not a whole lot that could have prevented it. What prevented it from growing was a customer who was at the landfill that spoke up to the landfill staff and said ‘hey, I don’t know if you know this or not, but there’s a fire on top of your bale pile.’ We have no idea it might have been burning or not burning, but it stayed relatively small instead of the whole bale pile being on fire, which we’ve had that in years past.”

Firefighters were dispatched to the scene at 1:19 p.m., Shoemaker explained. They arrived at 1:27 p.m. with a crew of six firefighters on scene, and more on standby at the station.

“We had one fire truck, one command unit and a tanker,” Shoemaker said. “It was a fire in the middle of the bale pile. We removed some of the material around the affected bales. We used about 3,000 gallons of water, and the landfill staff put a layer of dirt to cover those affected bales, which is part of their standard protocol.”

The fire was under control at 2:10 p.m., Shoemaker noted. He said one of the biggest challenges in fighting the fire was the location.

“There’s only one way up and one way down,” said Shoemaker. “We had to climb up the bales, and we stretched roughly 250 feet of firehose to reach it. When we got up there, there was very little room to maneuver vehicles. Once we positioned, we were kind of locked in until we left.”

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