World’s longest lasting tyre fire

Approximately 7 million tires resting in situ at a storage facility in Rhinehart, northern Virginia, caught fire in October of 1983. At the fire’s maximum extent, a black plume of smoke rose 3,000 feet into the air and spread downwind for up to 50 miles – significant air pollution was recorded in three neighboring states. Tire fires are slow to start but notoriously difficult to extinguish; the Rhinehart Tire Fire burned for nine months! Nearby water sources were polluted with lead and arsenic compounds, and in October 1984 the dump was designated a Mid-Atlantic Superfund Site by the EPA. Cleanup efforts were effectively ended in 2002 and the file would finally be deleted in August of 2005.

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