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Brush fire at West Lake Landfill sparks concern

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BRIDGETON, MO (KPLR) - Smoke could be seen for miles as fire crews responded to a brush fire at the West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton Saturday afternoon.

Area residents gather near the fire scene to see if the fire would move into a restricted area where an underground fire is burning.

Because of the location of the fire, residents were concerned that the fire would reach area where radioactive waste is buried.

The Pattonville Fire Department responded to the brush fire around 2:30 pm. Residents along with elected officials came to the site out of concern.

They’re worried  because  of history of radioactive waste dumped first on the banks of Coldwater Creek near Lambert Airport and then moved to West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster and the landfill owners are preparing for a court case next spring over the clean-up of the site, and monitoring of the underground fire that’s moving toward the radioactive waste.

Koster wants the EPA to step-up and put out the fire; while others say the Army Corp of Engineers should be put in charge of the site and its clean-up.

Residents say the process is taking too long.

The landfills owner, Republic Services disputes the new reports saying, “the state`s experts found no threat to public health or safety that actually exists and says the Bridgeton landfill is in a managed state”.

We are told the fire was started by a spark from an Ameren pole that caused the brush fire.   Ameren crews responded quickly to the scene and made repairs to the equipment in question.

The Pattonville Fire Department put the fire out in 20 minutes.

Today’s fire did not affect the Bridgeton Landfill.

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