Firefighters respond to debris fire

David Hoover

Firefighters were dispatched to the Carthage (Mo.) Recycling Center on Wednesday to extinguish some of the fire being used to clean up debris from the ice storm.

Carthage Fire Department Battalion Chief Ron Hitchcock said workers at the recycling center had been moving some of the brush piles, and the fire became stirred up and rekindled.

“Due to the 1973 Clean Air Act, you can’t have a fire within 200 yards of any occupied building. If someone complains about the smoke from a fire, we have to go out there and put it out,” Hitchcock said.

Richard Barnes, Environmental Specialist with the Department of Natural Resources in Springfield, Mo., said about a week ago a man had contacted the DNR regarding a complaint. The man, who lived close to the landfill, said he had asthma, and smoke from the continuous fire was causing his asthma to act up.

“The gentleman contacted us again a few days later and thanked us for taking care of the situation.” Barnes said. “We really didn’t do anything. The locals in Carthage deserve the credit for taking care of the matter.”

Barnes said they had not received any more complaints regarding the burning since the initial call came in.

The fire department was on the scene from about 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Carthage Press