HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. —A section of the LCS Services Landfill that caught fire Sunday morning involved a pile of trash about 8 feet tall that had not been covered with dirt, according to a Hedgesville Volunteer Fire Co. spokesman.
Typically at the landfill along Allensville Road, trash is dumped at the facility, then a layer of dirt is spread over the debris, Lt. Bradley Crowell said.
Landfill workers repeat the process until a section reaches a certain height, then they move to a different section, Crowell said.
The section of the landfill that caught fire had not been covered with dirt, but a tarp had been put over it, he said.
The fire burned the tarp off the pile of trash and the blaze spread across about a 100-by-50-foot section, Crowell said.
The fire, which was reported at 9:20 a.m., was spotted by a neighbor, he said.
Crowell said it is hard to determine what might have started the blaze, but it could have been hot ashes or spontaneous combustion of some materials.
“You’re probably never going to be able to figure that out because there’s so much junk in there,” Crowell said Sunday afternoon.
Firefighters started battling the fire with water, then a landfill crew helped extinguish it by spreading a layer of dirt over it with a bulldozer, Crowell said.
Crowell said firefighters worked at the scene for about 3 1/2 hours.
Crowell, who said the fire occurred at the back of the facility’s property, said there were no other environmental issues that arose because of the fire.
The landfill, which is owned by Waste Management, was recognized earlier this summer for its operations.
The municipal landfill has not received a notice of violation from state regulators over the last several years and has complied with all environmental regulations, state officials said.
The facility has an active landfill gas-extraction system to control odors at the landfill and plans to install six more gas wells there this year, officials said.