Centralia, Pa. mine fire

By ldnews
  • Mine fire begins

    Mine fire begins
    The mine fire is thought to have begun around this date in Centralia, Columbia County. There are a couple of theories as to how the fire began. However, it is agreed that the fire burned underground, spreading through a hole in a rock pit into abandoned coal mines. Photo provided by Ralph Hassel, www.offroaders.com
  • Trying to control the fire

    Trying to control the fire
    Mine fire chronologyFrom 1962 through 1978, millions of dollars were spent trying to control the fire with limited results.
  • Acquiring properties

    Acquiring properties
    Acquiring propertyThe United States Office of Surface Mining (OSM) acquires 34 impacted properties and contracts for a study to determine its potential to spread.
    Photo courtesy of Ralph Hassel, www.offroaders.com · DER (i.e. DEP) initiates air quality monitoring program
  • $663M needed to extinguish fire

    $663M needed to extinguish fire
    Mine fire chronologyOSM study estimates that $663 million is required to extinguish fire. · A vital transportation link, Route 61, suffers severe subsidence damage from fire. DER stabilizes roadway at a cost of approximately half a million dollars.
  • Relocation

    Mine fire chronologyU.S. Congress appropriates $42 million for voluntary acquisition and relocation of impacted businesses and residences due to dangers caused by fire (i.e. subsidence & noxious gases).
  • Condemnation

    Mine fire chronologyFrom 1985 to 1992, the Centralia Task Force, with authorization from OSM, utilizes condemnation procedures to acquire properties and relocate remaining residents. This action is taken due to threat from noxious gases and subsidence.
  • Condemnation against 53 remaining properties

    <ahref='http://http://www.offroaders.com/album/centralia/chronology.htm' >Mine fire chronology</a>From 1992 to 1993, condemnation procedures initiated against remaining 53 properties. · Property owners file preliminary legal objections to this action. · Borough, as owner of minerals located under the municipality, brings suit against "de facto" taking of coal by condemnation. · Route 61 closed indefinitely due to fire damage
  • Fire continues to spread

    Fire continues to spread
    Mine fire chronologytoday, the fire continues to spread. · Total expenditure of funds is approximately $40 million ($53 million in 1995 $). · County court denies property owners' objections (February 1994) and decides against Borough (November 1993). · State Supreme Court also rules against property owners (September 1995) and Borough (December 1995). · Federal grant's expiration date is currently set at December 31, 1997. This coincides with Commonwealth agreements' termination dates.