Firefighters battle blaze at landfill

Firefighters found themselves battling a blaze that broke out in a heap of garbage at the Foothills landfill on Monday morning.

Called to the scene just after 6 a.m., it took about 4 1/2 hours to put the fire out.

"We had an excavator from the regional district to dig it out an pull it apart so we could get down to the scene because if you just put water on the top, it doesn't penetrate," Prince George Fire Rescue deputy chief Blake King said.

Complicating matters, firefighters had to rely on water tenders to haul the water in to fight the fire because there were no hydrants within reaching distance.

The crew had left the scene by about 10:30 a.m. while landfill staff continued to keep an eye out for any further signs of trouble.

King said calls to the landfill have been rare.

"We've had a few trips the compost section but into the landfill, not that often," King said.

When they have broken out in the compost section, firefighters have had to be on the scene for much longer.

"We've been there all night trying to pull it apart," King said. "It's just a big mess." With the exception of the collection facility for used oil, the landfill remained open to the public throughout the event.

While no cause had been determined, the regional district reminded the public that hazardous, flammable or ignitable waste, including lithium batteries, are not permitted at the landfill.