Crews battle ‘football field’-sized fire at landfill near London, Ont.

London fire crews battled a large and smoky fire at a landfill on Manning Drive. London Fire Department

A fire at a landfill site south of London is now under control following a challenging, and smoky, morning for city fire crews.

Roughly 25 firefighters were dispatched to the landfill on Manning Drive around 6:15 a.m. Wednesday. Large plumes of smoke could be seen coming from the site, and fire officials tweeted about potential visibility issues on nearby Wellington Road.

Platoon Chief Shawn Fitzgerald says the size of the fire was substantial.

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“This fire was quite extensive, about a football field area, about 15 to 20 feet deep of burning garbage,” said Fitzgerald.

“It created some challenges, but it was extinguished quicker than I anticipated.”

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He says the rural nature of the fire presented some additional hurdles for crews on scene.

“We had our hazmat team, the firefighting crews, and then we had to bring in our tankers to bring water from outside the property because there wasn’t any hydrants on the property,” said Fitzgerald.

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“It’s time-consuming, it’s labour-intensive, but we were able to manage it.”

Fitzgerald says investigators believe it was sparked by an overnight storm.

“The amount of fire and the area involved, it must have been burning for some time, so it was probably lightning the night before that smouldered during the night and then broke out early this morning.”

Fitzgerald says it was general household waste that was burning, and air monitor checks by the hazmat team found no toxins in the air.

He says there were no injuries.

With no fire hydrants on the rural property, the London Fire Department needed to bring in additional resources. London Fire Department

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