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Firefighters warn of toxic substances in McPherson landfill fire

Published: Oct. 27, 2019 at 10:00 PM CDT
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Firefighters are warning McPherson residents of toxic substances after another fire sparked at the landfill Sunday.

A neighbor noticed smoke and flames coming from the landfill around 10 a.m. This is the second fire in one week for the McPherson landfill and it's all hands on deck to get a handle on the situation.

The McPherson Fire Department, employees, contractors, and even some volunteers worked around the clock to get a handle on the fire.

"All hands on deck. A lot of money. With the fire department, if we use this foam, it's very expensive so we reimburse them for the cost of that, for hiring private contractors plus our own time. We've paid a lot of overtime this week. People here basically almost 24 hours a day since last Monday so it's been a tough week," said Mike Tabor, landfill manager.

Tabor says the fire is the largest he has experienced at the landfill- a couple acres packed with 30 to 40 feet of trash.

"No, this is something that you just don't normally run into," said Tabor.

He says they don't know what's causing the fires. Tabor says letting the landfill continue to burn is not an option.

"Actually that would do us a favor if it did that and it'd be easier to handle but there is some concern when you've got trash burning. You don't want any weird health hazards. The smoke is a little bit of a concern," said Tabor.

The landfill has been on 24-hour surveillance since last Monday and will continue until all smolder spots are extinguished. The fire department says the smoke from the fire contains toxic substances. A

indicates the City of McPherson is directly affected by the smoke.

All residents are encouraged to do the following:

1. Go inside

2. Close all windows and doors

3. Stay tuned to Radio/TV/Social Media for further updates.

4. Utilize 911 for emergencies only and contact McPherson Fire Department administrative lines at 620-245-2505 if you have further questions or concerns.