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Encyclopedia > Mine fire

A mine fire is a fire that starts in a coal mine and burns underground. Mine fires can burn for months or years, until the seam in which they smoulder is exhausted. Because they are underground, they are virtually impossible to reach and extremely difficult and costly to put out. To fight mine fires, government intervention is almost always required. Wyoming coal mine Coal mining is the mining of coal. ...


Some fires along coal seams are natural occurrences. Crumbled soft coal may spontaneously combust at temperatures as low as 40°C (104°F). Lightning-caused natural brush fires can ignite soft coal, and the smoldering fire can work downwards through the seam, creating subsidence that may open further seams to oxygen. Prehistoric clinker outcrops in the American West are the result of prehistoric coal fires that left a residue that resists erosion better than the matrix, leaving buttes and mesa. "Scientists estimate that Australia's Burning Mountain, the oldest known coal fire, has burned for 6,000 years," Kevin Krajick reported in Smithsonian Magazine. Coal is a fossil fuel extracted from the ground by underground mining or open-pit mining (surface mining). ... Spontaneous combustion can mean the self-ignition, or apparent self-ignition, and burning of any mass; often of highly flammable materials, such as a pile of oily rags; see combustion. ... Clinker has several meanings: In boat building, clinker is a method of constructing wooden boats by fixing planks to a frame so that the planks overlap each other gaining support from the frame and from adjacent planks. ... Burning Mountain is a feature near Wingen, New South Wales, Australia, approximately 300km north of Sydney. ...


Mine fires may begin as a result of an industrial accident, generally involving a gas explosion. Historically, some mine fires were started when bootleg mining was stopped by authorities, usually by blowing the mine up. Many recent mine fires have started from people burning trash in a landfill that was in close proximity to abandoned coal mines. Bootleg mining is illegal coal mining. ... Landfill is a waste disposal site for the deposit of the waste onto or into land (i. ...


Globally, thousands of inextinguishable mine fires are burning, especially in China and India, where poverty, lack of government regulations and runaway development combine to create an environmental disaster. Modern strip mining exposes smoldering coal seams to the air, revitalizing the flames. (Krajick 2005)


Among hundreds of mine fires in the United States, the most publicized is in Centralia, Pennsylvania, which has been burning since 1962. Other mine fires in the United States burning today include a fire in Vanderbilt, Pennsylvania, the state with the most mine fires. Centralia is a borough in Columbia County, Pennsylvania, U.S.. Although as recently as 1981 there were over 1,000 residents, the population has dwindled to 11 as a result of a 40 year old mine fire burning beneath the borough, one of at least 38 in Pennsylvania alone. ... 1962 (MCMLXII) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar). ... Vanderbilt is a borough located in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. ...


Rural Chinese in coal-bearing regions often dig coal for household use, abandoning the pits when they become unworkably deep, leaving highly combustible coal dust exposed to the air. Mapping China's coal fires from satellite photography discovered many previously unknown fires. There have been a few successes: in 2004, China ended a mine fire at Liuhuanggou colliery, near Urumqi in Xinjiang province. It had been burning since 1874. The worst of the current fires are in the Wuda coalfields of Inner Mongolia. China's coal fires burn 20 – 30 million tons of coal a year (Krajick 2005). 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Ürümqi (Uyghur: ئۈرۈمچى; Uyghur Latin script: Ürümqi; Chinese: 烏魯木齊; Pinyin: Wūlǔmùqí; population about 1. ... Xinjiang (Uyghur: (Shinjang); Chinese: æ–°ç–†; Hanyu Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Hsin1-chiang1; Postal Pinyin: Sinkiang), full name Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (Uyghur: شىنجاڭ ئۇيغۇر ئاپتونوم رايونى (Shinjang Uyghur Aptonom Rayoni); Simplified Chinese: 新疆维吾尔自治区; Traditional Chinese: 新疆維吾爾自治區; Pinyin: XÄ«njiāng Wéiwúěr ZìzhìqÅ«), is an autonomous region of the Peoples Republic of China. ... 1874 (MDCCCLXXIV) was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Inner Mongolia (Mongolian: ᠥᠪᠦᠷ ᠮᠣᠨᠺᠤᠯᠤᠨ ᠥᠪᠡᠷᠲᠡᠺᠡᠨ ᠵᠠᠰᠠᠬᠤ ᠣᠷᠤᠨ r Mongghul-un bertegen Jasaqu Orun; Chinese: 内蒙古自治区; Hanyu Pinyin: N i Měnggǔ Z qū) is an Autonomous Region of the Peoples Republic of China. ...


See also

Location in the state of Pennsylvania Formed Seat Pottsville Area  - Total  - Water 2,027 km² (778 mi²) 11 km² (4 mi²) 0. ...

External links

  • "Coal fires - A natural or man made hazard?" (site about coal mine fires from Anupma Prakash, of the Univ. of Alaska-Fairbanks)
  • Centralia, Pennsylvania Mine fire
  • Centralia Mine Fire
  • Welcome to Centralia

References

  • Kevin Krajick, "Fire in the hole," in Smithsonian Magazine May 2005 pp 54ff.


  Results from FactBites:
 
Mine fire - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (462 words)
Mine fires may begin as a result of an industrial accident, generally involving a gas explosion.
Many recent mine fires have started from people burning trash in a landfill that was in close proximity to abandoned coal mines.
Globally, thousands of inextinguishable mine fires are burning, especially in China and India, where poverty, lack of government regulations and runaway development combine to create an environmental disaster.
Mine Fire Brigades (994 words)
Fire brigades are already established at some mines and are not regulated.
Regulations do not require mine rescue teams to be trained or specially equipped to fight fires.
Fire Brigade activities should generally be restricted to attacking the fire directly and to limited efforts to prevent its spread.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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