Monday, May 14, 2007

Fire at former Branch Facility on Recreation Drive

The fire at the former Southwest Branch Facility on Recreation Drive.
Above picture taken on May 12, 2007 5:24pm.


5:22 pm

5:23 pm

9:24 pm.

Quote from the SJ-R's Police Beat column

Police Beat

Published Sunday, May 13, 2007

Police Beat is compiled from reports released to the media by area law enforcement agencies. Anyone arrested is presumed innocent until proved guilty in court.

A controlled burn that continued to rage Saturday night prompted dozens of calls from concerned onlookers at the city's former Southwest Recycling Facility on Recreation Drive, just south of Interstate 72.

The property is included in the site where an interchange between the MacArthur Boulevard Extension and I-72 will be built.

A fire department spokesman said contractors have a permit to burn branches and other debris there from sunrise to sunset and then are supposed to use bulldozers to put it out.

However, the fire wasn't extinguished, resulting in reports of flames about 30 feet high.

The spokesman said the blaze posed no danger other than the burning materials themselves. Since there are no hydrants out there, firefighters were unable to get the necessary amount of water there to douse flames.

The contractors were instructed to extinguish the flames today.
From the May 13, 2007 SJ-R

I've heard that Recreation Drive has been blocked off to road traffic.
I bet the businesses along Recreation Drive just love that.


Weeks of smoldering likely
Controlled burn got out of hand

Published Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A controlled burn at Springfield's old yard-waste recycling plant on Recreation Drive near Interstate 72 has turned into a smoking field of tree stumps, limbs and other debris that could smolder for two weeks.

Read entire article at:

Recreation Drive fire extinguished, restarted


Published Tuesday, May 22, 2007

After putting out a stubborn blaze with bulldozers and a water truck
last week, crews Monday resumed burning tree limbs, stumps and other
debris at the old yard-waste recycling plant on Recreation Drive.

The debris is being burned so that dirt from the site can be used to
build an interchange on Interstate 72 as part of the MacArthur
Boulevard extension project.

Crews had planned to burn 12 hours a day for 60 days, but the burning
could last longer because debris that was bulldozed will have to be
picked out of the dirt, Sestak said.

The burning will begin at about 7 a.m. each day, and crews will start
putting fires out at about 5:30 p.m.

Read entire article at:

Discussion regarding this fire on the Springfield email list.

On a personal note....I met a salesclerk yesterday (May 15) who mentioned that her mother who lives in Westchester is suffering from poison ivy exposure. It is odd because there is no poison ivy where she lives.
It is possible that there was poison ivy mixed in with the branches that are burning at the branch facility.
The urushiol (the poison in poison ivy) can become airborne and be breathed in thru the lungs. That I hear is a nasty way of being affected that can land the victim in the emergency room.

Quotes from websites:
A particularly severe case of poison ivy can occurs when you are burning debris that contains poison ivy plants. The fire produces resin-containing smoke that can be inhaled and deposited on the exposed parts of the skin. The resulting rash can cause a severe reaction that may need more potent medication like a steroid shot or oral prednisone.

Never burn poison ivy. Burning can cause the oil to get into the air, and you can then breathe it in or get it in your eyes. The smoke from burning poison ivy will cause the same reaction in your lungs that normally happens on the skin. Reactions to this kind of exposure can be far more serious than those resulting from topical contact, in fact breathing the smoke from burning poison ivy can cause death.

Useful links of the day


Springfield Fire Department


How to recognize poison ivy.
Includes a helpful quiz.

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