A look at Pa. underground mine fires

A look at Pa. underground mine fires

There are 14 comments on the York Dispatch story from Feb 5, 2010, titled A look at Pa. underground mine fires. In it, York Dispatch reports that:

Pennsylvania leads the nation in underground mine fires, with 38. There are 112 fires burning nationwide.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at York Dispatch.

David Garner

Beijing, China

#1 Feb 5, 2010
WHAT the f@#k !! I had no idea "we" had fires burning that long. Not only is there an energy shortage but we are allowing this to continue for YEARS ? A FIRE has been burning since 1912 and another since the 60's ? WHAT ????
Captain Dick

Brooklyn, NY

#2 Feb 5, 2010
If they can't put them out, there ought to be a way to harness the energy. What is being done on that front?
john f

York, PA

#3 Feb 5, 2010
global warming!
T Kim

Lamphun, Thailand

#4 Feb 5, 2010
A hugh percentage of global warming is due to problems just like this. Lip service is all that we can expect from short termed politicals responcible for welfare of now and the future.
Its a shame to the human race.

Since: Jun 08

Location hidden

#5 Feb 5, 2010
I live near Centralia, it is so strange there. We will go up there and walk on what used to be the highway that ran through the town and there is steam coming up through the cracks. The whole place smells like sulfur. It is like a ghost town, you can see where the houses once stood.
Tex

United States

#6 Feb 5, 2010
Bush's fault!PA needs to put those fires out.Put people to work!
Greg

United States

#7 Feb 5, 2010
Wow I had no idea that fires were burning underground. It seems to me that with all of our technology we should be able to figure out how to extinguish a fire. No oxygen no fire???? Any way I agree with Captian Dick, if we won't put it out why not harness the energy? And one final word to Tex, how could this possibly be Bush's fault??? These fires started long before he was president, and actually from what it seems that some of these were burning before he or I and most likely yourself were even born..
Chris F

Hatboro, PA

#8 Feb 5, 2010
I watched a special on Centralia a few years ago about how they tried more than a few methods to extinguish the fire with no success. Its really very complicated and if you knew the methods tried (traditional methods, water, foam, cutting off oxygen, just didnt seem to work for various reasons) you would understand and not make uneducated comments. No doubt it is a shame that a town like that has been completely demolished, but also think of the workers lives that were saved from not working in, breathing, and dying from coal dust. On a global scale, mining fires do not contribute even .01% of global warming.

My opinion of the situation is that with all the technology that is constantly emerging, and now that this story is "out in the open" and people can know about it nationwide, a forum or comment page like this one should be made so people can talk about and possibly come up with a way to put out the fire once and for all without having to spend a large portion of government budget money (which will please the politicians). I can in a way see why they have "given up" on putting the fire out, now that the town is demolished and gone and the fact that it has burned for so long and is so big that the problem has become much more complicated and is going to be alot harder to put out. But with my idea of the possible forum or comment page, if an idea to put out the fire does arise, it could also be used to put out many of the other underground fires still burning in other parts of the nation.
Steve

Victorville, CA

#9 Feb 5, 2010
Why not seal the openings and pump nitrogen (the most abundant gas on earth also heavier than oxygen) in and smother the fires?
Steve

Victorville, CA

#10 Feb 5, 2010
I'd like to correct myself, nitrogen is slightly lighter than oxygen, but it could still be done. It makes up 85% of our atmosphere.
say N2

York, PA

#11 Feb 5, 2010
Steve wrote:
Why not seal the openings and pump nitrogen (the most abundant gas on earth also heavier than oxygen) in and smother the fires?
Hey Steve, just because you can whip together one hell of a Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte at Starbucks, doesn't necessarily make you a chemist or an environmental engineer!
Good try though! Oh, and can I get a Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha Grande?
Joe Donahue

Trenton, NJ

#12 Feb 5, 2010
The reason most people from Centralia refused to leave is they somehow or other, do own the mineral tights in that town. Most home owners do not own the mineral rights. Years ago I knew of families who had new homes constructed and had hit veins of coal when they dug out for the basements. I had heard that they were able to heat their homes for years just shoveling coal from the veins they had exposed in their foundations. The city of Pottsville, PA sits on one of the largest coal veins known, the Mamonth Coal Vein, with the actual thickness of this vein where it flattens out as hundreds of feet in thickness. I am certain at some time in the distant future, many centuries from now, This vein will be mined or obtained by open strip mines. with the entire town, or most of homes destroyed to gain access to this coal fortune.
Joe Donahue

Trenton, NJ

#13 Feb 5, 2010
Please alert me when others post comments.
Give em a hot foot

York, PA

#14 Feb 5, 2010
Chris F wrote:
I watched a special on Centralia a few years ago about how they tried more than a few methods to extinguish the fire with no success. Its really very complicated and if you knew the methods tried (traditional methods, water, foam, cutting off oxygen, just didnt seem to work for various reasons) you would understand and not make uneducated comments. No doubt it is a shame that a town like that has been completely demolished, but also think of the workers lives that were saved from not working in, breathing, and dying from coal dust. On a global scale, mining fires do not contribute even .01% of global warming.
My opinion of the situation is that with all the technology that is constantly emerging, and now that this story is "out in the open" and people can know about it nationwide, a forum or comment page like this one should be made so people can talk about and possibly come up with a way to put out the fire once and for all without having to spend a large portion of government budget money (which will please the politicians). I can in a way see why they have "given up" on putting the fire out, now that the town is demolished and gone and the fact that it has burned for so long and is so big that the problem has become much more complicated and is going to be alot harder to put out. But with my idea of the possible forum or comment page, if an idea to put out the fire does arise, it could also be used to put out many of the other underground fires still burning in other parts of the nation.
You see, the fire has not reached or burned the politicans feet, to date, so until that happens, nothing will ever be done.

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