The Irkutsk Oil Company’s specialists completed a fire fighting operation at the troubled underground landfill of sawmill waste in Ust’-Kut. The fire started in October 2013. By the beginning of April, the area on fire had spread to over 2 hectares. The landfill area was rented out by Irkutsk Oil Company in February 2014 as a future site for one of the facilities of the future gas chemical complex plant. Before the start of fire season, when the risk of fire is high,, the company decided to excavate and rebury sawmill waste to another site.
Ten specialists, as well as specialty vehicles--a fire truck, an excavator, a CAT bulldozer and two dump-body trucks—all aided in extinguishing the flames The Federal Fire Service provided a fire pump station to organize pumping of water from the Lena River, said Alexey Sirota of the INK’s Fire Service Department. The excavator unearthed daily slowly-burning sawdust, digging as much as seven meters deep. Then the waste was watered and relocated to a separate area where it was leveled and watered once again. As a result, about 160,000 cubic meters of woodworking waste were treated there.Mr. Vasiliy Morozov, Deputy Mayor of Ust’-Kutsky district, Chairman of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, stated that that site for a waste landfill had been used by the sawmills and woodworking enterprises since 2002. In October 2013, when the fire started, the previous lessee and local authorities tried in vain to quell the flames. Unfortunately, as a result of their unsuccessful efforts, some living areas were polluted with smoke and fumes, and residents complained. The fire area was localized to reduce the smoke level, but the problem remained unsolved for lack of necessary fire-fighting equipment. The situation changed when INK rented out the site and brought in their equipment and specialists. INK has proved itself a responsible company, able to successfully solve environmental challenges, Mr. Morozov said. The company is currently working on a program to completely control this sawmill waste.
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