Fire crews in Rockport spent the holiday weekend battling an underground fire that broke out inside the landfill at the Midcoast Solid Waste transfer station.
Rockport Fire Department volunteers first responded to the transfer station midday on Saturday, after receiving a report of heavy smoke emanating from a 50-foot area on top of the landfill, according to Rockport Fire Chief Jason Peasley.
While crews were at the scene, Peasley said a hole about five feet wide and 12 feet deep appeared on top of the landfill caused by the fire burning from below.
With help from a local construction company, fire crews used a piping system to send water below the surface of the landfill to extinguish the blaze.
The landfill where the fire was located is filled with construction debris, Peasley said, not household trash. Peasley said it’s nearly impossible to determine what ignited the fire.
After spending about four hours at the scene Saturday, Rockport fire crews were called back Sunday afternoon, after a transfer station employee reported seeing three-to-four-foot flames coming from a 12-to 15-foot area on top of the landfill.
Crews spent about four hours extinguishing the visible flames on Sunday and set up an oscillating hose at the landfill to stop any additional flames from making it to the surface.
On Monday, Peasley said construction crews were at the transfer station covering the landfill with a fill material, such as clay, to starve any fire that remains of oxygen.