DEP: Efforts to extinguish Zerbe Township mine fire make progress

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Photo taken of the mine fire on April 28, 2021.

ZERBE TOWNSHIP, NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — A mine fire that broke out back in April is still burning but efforts to extinguish it have made progress, a spokesperson for the Department of Environmental Protection said.

“The efforts of the high-volume water contractor over the past week and a half have resulted in significantly diminished evidence of fire,” Megan Lehman, Environmental Community Relations Specialist for the Department of Environmental Protection Temperatures told Eyewitness News.

Massive amounts of water, up to 70,000 gallons per day, were being applied by Tri-County Spreading of Paxinos from a surface water pond as smoke conditions cleared. Now, the DEP says they will discontinue applying water overnight Wednesday and Thursday in order to evaluate the current conditions of the fire.

“DEP will assess this information and determine on Friday whether to resume water application or continue to monitor for any increase in smoke or steam for a further period of time,” Lehman said.

The temperatures in the slope today were 52.5 to 53 degrees Fahrenheit at a depth of 200 feet.

“In addition, DEP held a meeting with potential contractors onsite this (Wednesday) morning to discuss the next phase of project work, which will be the drilling of exploratory boreholes,” Lehman said.

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