May 4, 2023 - Crews are once again working to extinguish a coal refuse pile fire in the Winterpock area of Chesterfield County, Virginia.
A second fire ignited last week in a separate section of the coal refuse pile that was extinguished in March.
Virginia Energy hired WM3 Enterprises LLC to put out the new fire, which is expected to be extinguished by the end of this week.
A second fire ignited last week in a separate section of the coal refuse pile that was extinguished in March in the Winterpock area of Chesterfield.
Photo: Virginia Energy
“Contractors will remove the burning material from the pile and cool it with water. Residents may notice steam coming from the site during this time that could easily be confused with an increase in smoke,” Virginia Energy said in a news release on Wednesday.
The Virginia Department of Energy anticipates the fire will be completely extinguished before the end of this week.
Virginia Energy says the area of the new fire will be capped with crushed stone. The project is estimated to cost $170,000.
This pile is a result of mining in the area from the 1870s.
“At the time, technology was not available to better separate coal from rock during the mining process,” Virginia Energy said. “Environmental regulations were also not in place to properly reclaim this material so the spoil that resulted from mining was left in place.”