Conditions perfect for ignition in green heap
PLUMES of black smoke still rose from the Allora dump yesterday morning after piles of green waste had spontaneously ignited the evening before.
The Allora fire truck arrived at the rubbish tip about 6.55pm Wednesday after a 000 call. Rural trucks were on standby.
A 9m pile of green waste was on fire and Allora station captain Brett Bender said firefighters could not put out the blaze at first.
The best they could do was keep it away from long grass behind the waste pile, which would have been devastating had it caught.
"Our saving grace was the longer it went, the cooler it got," Mr Bender said.
And 20,000 litres of water was dumped on the fire before crews left about 10.30pm.
Mr Bender said the height of the piles and the recent weather was the fire's likely cause of ignition.
"We got about 10mm of rain, and some real hot days with the cooler nights," he said.
"You could see the steam coming off the pile when you moved it around."
He said the mix of fuel, oxygen and heat was a recipe for spontaneous combustion.
"All you need is a bit of air and warm, then boom."
Council machines spent all day yesterday separating the blackened piles to minimise a further fire risk and ensure all the embers had been extinguished.
The fire was said to be similar to another at the Warwick dump that had broken out about three weeks ago,