FORT MEADE
Smoke at Landfill Fire to Be Tested

Officials of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection will test the smoke coming off a fire burning at a private landfill on U.S. 17, but Fort Meade Fire Chief Bill Gunter said he suspects the smoke is toxic.

Gunter described the fire, which started about midnight Thursday, as "a conglomerate of mess."

"We don't even know everything that's burning," he said. "We know we've got tires, paint and LP gas tanks, among other things."

No homes are close to the fire, so Gunter did not think any residents were in danger from it.

He didn't know when the DEP would arrive to test the smoke.

The fire covers about two acres in a debris pile that is 80 feet to 90 feet deep and covers 25 acres.

Gunter said firefighters had spread 75,000 gallons of water on the fire by Friday afternoon.

He said a Division of Forestry crew was scheduled to set up a large sprinkler to begin saturating the area.

"It's going to take a tremendous amount of time and water to get it out," Gunter said. "It will be at least a week, maybe longer. It's very labor intensive."