UPDATE: 10 days later – Barrow landfill fire continues, amid complaints of smoke, ash

It’s been 10 days since a fire was discovered at an inert landfill on Georgia 11 in Barrow County and now, amid complaints from people who are being directly affected by the fire, the county fire department has announced that it plans to let the fire burn itself out.


Last week, we ceased continuous operations and our on-site Command Post was terminated. The fire department has been conducting an hourly fire watch since last week. You will continue to notice a smoke odor and haze in the area for an extended period of time.

Further, the property owners continue to work diligently to mitigate the current situation by conducting fire watch and implementing a Corrective Action Plan. Again, there is no set timeline for full compliance based on weather conditions and equipment appropriations.

…The cause has been determined to be the result of spontaneous combustion which is the occurrence of fire without the application of an external heat source. When entrapped heat can’t dissipate, it ignites.”

Meanwhile, people who say they are being directly affected by the fire are lighting up social media with stories about how they are being impacted, and some are questioning the decision to end on-site operations while letting it continue to burn.

A sampling:

 “I have a premature infant currently living in a smoke filled home. People say not to run HVAC systems to prevent the smoke smell, but again, I have a baby and it’s close to freezing temps at night. I have no choice but to run the heat.”

“Friday night at dark the smoke was so horrendous that it has gotten into my house as well as many others, so much that we had to leave our homes due to breathing issues.”

“Saturday, there was pitch black smoke coming from the fire. My family has also had breathing issues and our house smells like smoke.”

Without commenting on any of the complaints or addressing specific concerns and questions, even those that suggested that something is in the landfill that shouldn’t be there, the fire department responded, “We are doing our best.”

(Photo courtesy Barrow County Fire Department.)


Large landfill fire in Barrow Co. 97.5 Glory FM | North Georgia’s Family Radio Station (wgtjradio.com)