Two fires within six months is prompting a review of procedures at the Greater Vernon landfill.
The Regional District of North Okanagan is reviewing the current lack of water after Monday’s fire which consumed wood debris and adjacent grassland. Flames also destroyed the recycling facility in February.
“We need a place on-site to fill water tenders (trucks),” said Dale Danallanko, operations manager.
Extending domestic and treated effluent lines to the landfill has been previously investigated but one of the challenges is accessing private land from the closest connection on Commonage Road.
A more likely option is using leachate water at the landfill.
Leachate is water that has percolated through buried refuse and it’s collected in a pond. Surface runoff is also directed to the leachate pond.
The lack of on-site water proved a significant challenge for firefighters Monday.
“They were tendering water from the Kalamalka Research Station (on College Way),” said Danallanko.
Monday’s incident began when a grinding machine caught fire and the flames spread to a wood debris pile and the surrounding grassland.
Crews have been on site since then.
“Things are looking pretty good and we will continue to monitor the situation,” said Jack Blair, Vernon deputy fire chief.
“On the landfill site, we have been breaking up the smouldering piles and dousing them to the best of our ability. We are also monitoring the north side of the ridge where there were a number of spot fires.”
Blair isn’t sure when the fire will be completely mopped up.
“It could be smouldering for weeks,” he said.
The site has now been turned over to RDNO and the district has hired a wildfire contractor to continue to soak down the property and maintain a fire watch to ensure hot spots don’t grow.