A waste management facility in South Florida has been on fire for nearly a week, causing officials to close parks, dismiss schools, and urge residents near the area to stay indoors. The Covanta Energy plant in Doral has been burning in two structures at the facility, with the cause of the fire still under investigation.
Source: CBS Miami/Youtube
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced that officials are monitoring the fire to determine if the smoke from the blaze is toxic. The facility, operated by waste management company Covanta, diverts “waste from landfills to generate energy from the combustion of municipal solid waste,” according to its website.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has advised residents who live near the site to stay indoors and take precautions, such as wearing a mask outdoors, particularly if they are young children, pregnant mothers, older adults, or have preexisting respiratory and cardiac conditions.
To minimize the impact of the smoke, Miami-Dade County officials have advised residents to keep their windows rolled up while driving through the area, and to run their air conditioning at home to re-circulate the air. The Doral Glades Park and the Doral Legacy Park have been closed, and all outdoor activities scheduled in the city have been rescheduled.
As of Thursday, around 100 firefighters were working to contain the fire. There were four separate ongoing operations attempting to battle the blaze, including efforts to extinguish the trash currently on fire and the two buildings ablaze, partial demolition of a building on the southeast side of the property to gain better access, shuttle trash near the fire to another area to prevent the blaze from worsening, and an investigation to determine the cause of the fire.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief Ray Jadallah explained that the fire will continue to burn until the remainder of the walls are removed and the heavy machinery can remove the trash. Fire operations were temporarily put on hold on Friday so crews could demolish a wall to allow them more access to the area.
The impact of the fire on the environment and the community is yet to be fully determined. However, the incident is a reminder of the importance of taking steps to minimize waste and reduce our impact on the environment. Simple actions such as reducing, reusing, and recycling can go a long way in preventing environmental disasters like this.
It’s important to remember that we all have a role to play in protecting our planet. Every action we take to reduce our waste can make a significant impact. We can start by reducing our use of single-use plastics, composting organic waste, and recycling properly. By working together and taking action, we can create a better, more sustainable future for ourselves and future generations.
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