Yesterday we had another local emergency that resulted in shelter-in-place orders given to nearby residents. A local landfill ignited and went up in flames at 3:30AM. Downwind residents woke up to heavy smoke in the air and very little information about how toxic the smoke was or if the fire was spreading.
By sunrise, the local radio stations were sending out the message that people in the path of the smoke should consider sheltering in their homes with the windows and doors shut. By 9:00AM, officials were repeating the message every 15 minutes along with assurance that the smoke did not contain any toxic compounds.
It was an eerie day here listening to the news and monitoring the fire. The wind was coming out of the northwest and taking the smoke away from us. Only a 180 degree switch in the wind would have put us in it’s path and I was thankful for that and the fact that there were no casualties at all from the smoke or blaze
I probably wouldn’t be taking the time to write this post if this event was the only one of it’s kind around here but it isn’t. Just a few years ago an old metal plating factory was being used as a storage facility on the south end of our town. It caught fire in the middle of the night also. The smoke was extremely toxic from the residual compounds left in the building from years past and the new chemicals being stored there.
That fire resulted in the evacuation of residents over a multiple square miles and shelter-in-place orders given for a large portion of our mid-sized town.
If this type of emergency can happen twice in our little section of Northern Indiana it can happen anywhere.
I did double-check our preps yesterday and found that they were in good order. We’ve recently replaced most of the windows in our old house with good quality vinyl windows so I made sure that the supplies were still intact to seal the rest of the home. The positive-pressure air filter was tested and placed back into storage.
The fire has died down at the landfill this morning but it’s still billowing smoke and steam. The wind had shifted overnight. It’s now blowing out of the south. We’re still being assured that the smoke contains nothing toxic…
(the photo above was from one of our local news sources, w sbt)