Firefighters continue to battle southeast Calgary dump fire

A fire at a southeast Calgary recycling depot is still burning on Saturday and it’s creating a health risk for residents in the area.

Environment Canada issued a special air quality statement in connection with the fire that broke out at ECCO Recycling on Friday evening.

In the advisory, the agency said the fire “is producing elevated levels of air pollutants in the area.”

“Individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk,” Environment Canada wrote.

The air quality statement was dropped at approximately 2 p.m.

The Calgary Fire Department responded to the ECCO fire at approximately 8:10 p.m. after several residents in Quarry Park reported extensive smoke in the area.

As of Saturday afternoon, crews are still on scene and are pumping an estimated 13,000 litres of water on the fire every minute.

Officials say they are making progress.

“The problem with fires in the landfills is they are really deep seeded and very deep into the ground,” said CFD Battalion Chief Paul Frederick. “It’s a combination of smothering them with earth and applying water to them. They are just a stubborn, stubborn fire that takes a long time to put out.”

Staff also assisted in fighting the fire, but lost a bulldozer in the process.

No one has been injured.

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