Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory on Friday declared a state of emergency over an underground fire burning at a Scott tire landfill.
The fire has been burning at the C&D Landfill on Renaud Drive since around Dec. 3. Residents have complained of noxious odors and smoke from the fire, but have not been ordered at this time to evacuate, Lafayette Consolidated Government Chief Communications Officer Jamie Angelle said.
Scott Fire Chief Chad Sonnier said the fire is about 35-40 feet deep. The fire is contained to the landfill site, he said, but officials are concerned the fire will grow and vapors will spread off site.
The emergency declaration will allow Lafayette Consolidated Government to lead the efforts to put out the fire, along with the Department of Environmental Quality, the State Fire Marshal and the Scott Fire Department.
A contractor with specialized equipment was expected to arrive Saturday, Sonnier said. The immediate plan, he said, is to cover cracks in the ground where vapors are being released.
State and local officials are expected to meet Monday to discuss how to handle the situation on a more permanent basis.
Meanwhile, Lafayette Fire Department Haz-Mat and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality are monitoring the air in and around the landfill three times a day, Sonnier said.
"As of now," he said, "the air is still clear in that area."
This isn't the first time the company had problems at that landfill, Sonnier said. The current fire is likely linked to one that burned in August 2018, which DEQ ordered extinguished. Sonnier said officials thought the fire had been put out at that time. How it restarted is unclear, he said.