What are tire burns

Tire fire - Tire fire

Incidents related to the burning of tires

Tire fires are events in which large quantities of tires are burned, typically in places where they are stored, dumped or processed. They exist in two forms: as fast-burning events that lead to an almost instant loss of control, and as slow-burning pyrolysis that can last for over a decade. They are known to be difficult to erase. Such fires generate a lot of smoke which, when synthetic rubber compounds break down, contains toxic chemicals when burned.

Tire fires are usually the result of arson or improper tampering with open flames. Tires are not prone to self-ignition because a tire must be heated to at least 400 degrees Celsius (750 degrees Fahrenheit) for a few minutes before igniting.

Extinguishing tire fires is difficult. The fire releases a dark, thick smoke that contains cyanide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and products made from butadiene and styrene. Burning tires are heated and are difficult to cool down due to their poor thermal conductivity. In addition, they often burn inside even when extinguished from the outside, and easily re-ignite when hot. One possible workaround is to cover the fire with sand, which will reduce the amount of oxygen and smoke it emits. After extinguishing and cooling (which can take several days) toxic chemicals can be neutralized.

In Northern Europe, new and used tires are stored in large warehouses, also known as tire hotels. Fire is a growing problem and since tire fires are difficult to extinguish, regular sprinkler systems are not enough. Inert gas extinguishing systems combined with an effective detection system would be the preferred choice to protect these bearings. Tests to determine the minimum design concentration (MDC) are currently being carried out in Denmark.

Notable tire fires

Some notable tire fires are:

  • 1983 - Seven million tires burned in Winchester, Virginia for nine months, polluting the surrounding areas with lead and arsenic. The site was cleaned up from 1983 to 2002 as a superfund project.
  • 1984 - A pile of an estimated four million tires known locally as Mount Firestone was detonated in Everett, Washington and burned for months because the fire department was unable to put it out.
  • 1989 - Heyope (near Knighton, Powys, Wales) burned approximately 10 million tires for at least 15 years.
  • 1990 - A fire began in a pile of 12 to 14 million tires in Hagersville, Ontario. it burned for 17 days, forcing 4,000 people to evacuate.
  • 1994 - East Chicago, Indiana, burned 70,000 tons of tires and shredded rubber. It started on July 16, 1994 and burned until August 22, 1994.
  • 1995 - The Hornburg Sinclairville, New York tire fire burned more than a million tires in a fire that lasted more than a week.
  • 1996 - A March arson at an illegal tire yard under a section of I-95 in Philadelphia caused $ 6 million in damage and closed a section of the highway for weeks and sometimes six months.
  • 1998 - A grass fire set 7 million tires in the unlicensed SF Royster Tire Disposal Facility in Tracy, California. It was extinguished with water and foam in December 2000 after 26 months.
  • 1999 - On August 21, arsonists detonated the former Kirby Tire Recycling facility with an estimated 25 million tires over 0.45 km 2 in the Near Sycamore, Ohio. The fire burned for 30 hours, involving over 250 firefighters, the Ohio National Guard and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and caused significant environmental damage. The fire was controlled and eventually partially extinguished by covering it with dirt. In the past few years, the EPA has carried out a massive cleanup on the construction site.
  • 1999 - Lightning struck a tire well in Westley, California that burned for 30 days. Pyrolitic oil flowed into a nearby stream and also ignited.
  • 2002 - The EnTire tire recycling facility in Nebraska City, Nebraska, burned for eleven days. An explosion occurred while fighting the fire, injuring thirteen firefighters. Several evacuations of up to 30 blocks were ordered during the event. Over 40 agencies supported the event at an estimated cost of $ 1.4 million.
  • 2005 - On July 19, a fire began at Watertown Tire Recyclers in Watertown, Wisconsin, which lasted six days. 108 fire brigades and more than 25 authorities helped deal with the disaster.
  • 2008 - A malfunction in the chopper / shredder line at the Golden Byproducts tire recycling facility in Ballico, Calif. Ignited rubber waste around the conveyor system which then ignited two ton piles of shredded / chopped rubber. It only burned for about 12 hours but took out over 1 million gallons of water. The stacks were allowed to form a crust, which in turn smothered the fires in them. The plant was later listed for exceeding the permissible capacity.
  • 2012 - On January 27, 2012, a massive tire fire started at a tire recycling facility in Lockport, New York, which resulted in dangerous amounts of soot and smoke burning over the city for over 22 hours and badly damaging many homes.
  • 2012 - In Jahra, Kuwait, on April 16, 2012, a fire broke out with five million tires. The fire was believed to have been started on purpose by scrap metal dealers looking for scrap metal.
  • 2012 - In Iowa City, Iowa, at around 6:45 p.m. on May 26, 2012, a fire began in the tire bed material at the Iowa City landfill, which involved at least 7.5 acres of landfill. It was finally extinguished on June 12, 2012 after a "stir, burn and cover" operation.
  • 2012 - Tire fire protests broke out across Lebanon. Protesters used burning tires to cut off main roads in Lebanon.
  • 2013 - Tire fire ignited in Nassau, Bahamas. The poorly managed municipal rubbish dump had multiple fires and ultimately resulted in a tire fire on August 13th.
  • 2014 - Tire fire lit in Savannah, Georgia on February 8, 2014.
  • 2015 - On August 18, in northwest Oklahoma, a tire fire set fire to the exterior of the store in a large pile of tires next to the A&T Tire and Wheel premises, but the crews kept fire from entering.
  • 2015 - On August 18, an Oregon fire disrupted the Warm Springs Tribal Reservation. Incorrectly dubbed a "tire fire" by locals and the news media, the fire caused by sparks from a recreational vehicle on a bare rim devoured more than 60,000 acres of land on the reservation.
  • 2016 - On May 13, a fire began in SeseƱa, Spain in a tire dump with around 5 million tires.
  • 2016 - On August 10, a tire fire broke out at Liberty Tire Recycling in Lockport, New York. Over 8 million pounds of crumbly gum ignited, destroyed four buildings and evacuated over 400 families from nearby homes.
  • 2017 - On January 17, a tire fire began at the Federal Corporation's Zhongli factory in Taoyuan, Taiwan. More than half of the factory (50,000 square meters) burned and over 140 families were evacuated from nearby homes. The area was heavily contaminated with soot.
  • 2017 - Sunday, March 5, 10:58 p.m., Firefighters responded to a fire at the EnTire recycling facility in Phelps City, Missouri. Heavy smoke caused a temporary closure of Highway 136, and officials advised nearby residents to avoid breathing the smoke, which could be seen over 10 miles away. This fire continued to smolder until August 2017.
  • 2020 - Wednesday, July 22, 4:30 p.m., Weld County, Colorado firefighters responded to a fire at a tire recycling facility. Early reports suggested a fire was starting on equipment, which quickly spread to piles of tires. Due to the size of the fire and the unusually dry conditions, local officials turned to a supertanker plane for help.

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