Fire closes Pitkin County Landfill |

Fire closes Pitkin County Landfill

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen CO Colorado

ASPEN – The Pitkin County Landfill closed at 2 p.m. Thursday because of a fire caused by spontaneous combustion in a pile of decomposing wood chips.

The fire created “significant smoke,” according to a Pitkin County statement but would be allowed to burn through the night “until weather conditions permit safe mitigation.”

“There is no danger of this fire spreading outside of the landfill,” said county public works director Brian Pettet. “It’s isolated and surrounded by snow. We closed the landfill (Thursday) because we didn’t want additional trash and debris to get near the blaze.”

The Aspen and Snowmass-Wildcat fire protection districts both responded to the blaze.

“Since no structures are threatened and there is no wildfire concern, we’ve decided to let the fire burn through the night,” said John Mele, deputy chief of the Snowmass-Wildcat Fire Protection District. “The best way to put out a fire like this is to spread the embers out in a thin layer and cover them with dirt. We didn’t want to disturb the embers today during high winds for fear of spreading them to nearby trash.”

The landfill will be open for regular business at 7:30 a.m. Friday, the county’s statement said.

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