Bondad Landfill catches fire

Lightning is suspected in a fire that started Tuesday evening in the Bondad Landfill, about five miles north of the New Mexico border. Landfill fires can take weeks to extinguish, said Dave Imming, a spokesman for Durango Fire & Rescue Authority. Enlarge photo

Courtesy of David Imming

Lightning is suspected in a fire that started Tuesday evening in the Bondad Landfill, about five miles north of the New Mexico border. Landfill fires can take weeks to extinguish, said Dave Imming, a spokesman for Durango Fire & Rescue Authority.

Firefighters battled a landfill fire Tuesday evening near Bondad, about 15 miles south of Durango.

White smoke was pouring from the trash site, said Dave Imming, spokesman for Durango Fire & Rescue Authority. He estimated that half the landfill was burning.

Its putting up a lot of smoke, he said.

The blaze was reported about 6 p.m. four miles north of the New Mexico border, on the east side of U.S. Highway 550.

It started during a lightning storm, but the official cause of the fire remained under investigation, he said.

Firefighters used foam, water, track hoes and a dump truck with sand to fight the blaze. DFRA and the Los Pinos Fire Protection District used eight tankers to transport 80,000 gallons of water during the course of five hours, Imming said.

Landfill fires can release potential toxins and take weeks to extinguish, Imming said.

This could burn for a long time, he said.

The Bondad Landfill is a solid-waste disposal site owned and operated by Transit Waste LLC. It has been in operation since 1997 within the Southern Ute Indian Reservation boundaries.

Also Tuesday evening, lightning caused a power outage for about 440 La Plata Electric Association customers served by the substation in Bodo Industrial Park. The outage also hit the Animas Air Park and homes in the Jack Rabbit Trail area.

Crews were able to restore power after about an hour after lightning struck a transformer in the substation about 5:20 p.m. Tuesday.

shane@durangoherald.com