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UPDATE: Flaming trash dumped next to highway

Hazardous materials unit sent out as precaution

Posted: November 19, 2012 3:50 p.m.
Updated: November 19, 2012 6:18 p.m.

Firefighters pull away smouldering bits of trash from a burning heap dumped by a trash truck onto the south shoulder of Magic Mountain Parkway between the exit ramp of Interstate 5 and Tourney Road Monday afternoon. (Jim Holt/The Signal)

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A trash truck sent plumes of spreading white smoke across the eastbound lanes of Magic Mountain Parkway near Interstate 5 Monday when it dumped its burning load on the side of the road, causing motorists to navigate slowly through the obstruction.

Shortly after 3 p.m., the truck dumped its RV-sized load of burning trash onto the shoulder of Magic Mountain Parkway just east of the exit ramp from the southbound lanes of Interstate 5 and west of Tourney Road.

The smoldering heap sent a cloud about three stories high across all eastbound lanes of Magic Mountain Parkway.
No one was reportedly hurt in the incident.

“The driver was heading to the dump when he saw smoke,” said Capt. Paul Hartwell of county Fire Station 156.

“So he got off the freeway and pulled off at the next ramp,” he said. “Once he got off (the freeway) he dumped it immediately.”

Trash truck drivers are under orders to dump a burning load as quickly as possible and above all, avoid dropping it at a dump, Hartwell said.

“Some dumps can burn for years,” he said. “So once he saw smoke coming out the back, he dumped his load.”
Half a dozen firefighters with the Los Angeles County Fire Department used rake-type tools to pull apart the burning heap of trash, which towered over their heads.

Others doused it with water.

Two fire trucks blocked two of the right-hand lanes to traffic, allowing the firefighters to extinguish the smoldering mass.

Firefighters successfully “knocked down” the burning trash pile at 3:50 p.m.

They “diked and covered” storm drains so no toxic runoff could enter the water system, Hartwell said.

The Fire Department’s Hazardous Materials unit was dispatched to the scene as a precaution.






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