Updated: crews extinguish large fire at landfill

A fire broke out at the Prince Albert landfill on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020. (Peter Lozinski/Daily Herald)

Updated at 10:45 a.m., Friday Aug. 21, 2020.

The landfill is operating normally again after a large fire caused it to be closed to the public Wednesday.

According to the city’s operations manager, Mohammed Kraishan, the fire was noticed shortly after 1 p.m., at which point the emergency protocol was initiated.

The Prince Albert Fire Department responded at about 1:20 p.m. They were joined by Buckland Fire Rescue at about 2.

Several crew members, engines and a pair of tankers responded to the blaze. The Buckland fire department ferried water to the site throughout the afternoon.

Working in tandem with heavy equipment operators at the landfill, firefighters were able to bring the fire under control and eventually extinguish it at about 7 p.m.

The cause of the fire is still unknown, but Kraishan said it’s not uncommon for improperly disposed of hazardous materials to catch fire on hot days.

“This time of year, especially with the hot temperature outside, could ignite a fire at the landfill,” he said.

Batteries, any small propane cylinders, if they get thrown into the garbage and disposed of in the landfill, that could pose a risk.”

There was no permanent damage and no one was injured in the incident. Kraishan said some waste was burned and the fire was reported to the Ministry of Environment, as per protocol.

Kraishan confirmed the landfill was back up and operating as of Thursday morning.

“We do make sure that everybody is safe. That’s our biggest and main priority,” he said.

“We used the landfill equipment to help isolate the fire. We tried to break down stockpiles to make sure the fire didn’t spread. We’re glad nobody was injured and it was handled professionally. We’re happy to be back to normal operations.”

Krishain reminded residents to take care when disposing of hazardous materials.

“I would request that residents and everyone that brings waste to the landfill be careful about what they’re placing in their garbage,” he said.

The city’s next household hazardous waste day to dispose of products that should not go into the landfill is set for Sept. 12 at the Old City Yards.

Items accepted, but not limited to, include: anti-freeze, adhesives, aerosols, automotive batteries, cleaners, corrosives, fuels, mercury oxidizers, paint and spray paint cans, pharmaceuticals, poison and solvents. Electronic waste, oil filters, propane cylinders, old tires and propane tanks will not be accepted.

Oil filters and containers, propane cylinders, old tires and propane tanks can be taken the Prince Albert landfill to be disposed of properly. Electronic waste can be brought to SARCAN for recycling.