Land Reclamation Program
Department responds to mine fire in Cass County
The Land Reclamation Program is responding to a 1/3 acre smoldering mining gob pile fire approximately ¼ mile south of the City of Creighton in Cass County. A gob pile is a mound built of accumulated spoil or the overburden removed during coal and ore mining. Gob is low-coal-content waste from coal mining operations that may be wholly or partly concealed. Gob can be ignited by spontaneous combustion from the heat of decomposing gob.The fire reportedly started from a lightning strike on a nearby tree in July 2012 and slowly spread to the gob pile. Concerns about the smoke and fumes have been raised by residents of Creighton.
The Land Reclamation Program is working with the landowner to address the fire and reclaim the gob pile. The program is discussing plans about how to extinguish the fire with local fire officials. Plans are also being developed to bury the remaining gob waste after the fire is put out.
The Land Reclamation Program capped underground mine shafts in the same area in 1992. Inspection of the land revealed the markers showing the location of the mine shaft opening had been dozed. As a result, the opening of the mine shaft will need to be relocated.