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Three mine fire control projects in northeastern Pennsylvania.

Dierks-HA; Whaite-RH; Harvey-AH; Moore-BJ
NTIS: PB 206 137, 1971; :1-53
The work and costs involved in controlling three large fires in abandoned mines in the anthracite region of Pennsylvania are presented in detail. The work was done under authority of Public Law 89-4. Three basic control techniques were successfully employed by the Bureau of Mines: (1) forming underground fire-containing barriers by systematically flushing incombustible material into mine voids, (2) excavating an isolation trench around the fire area, and (3) complete excavation of hot and burning material in the fire area. When methods 2 and 3 were used, the excavations were subsequently backfilled with incombustible material. Preliminary location of fire perimeters by the standard use of patterned 6- and 8-inch-diameter boreholes is discussed. Investigations into airborne infrared scanning, shallow subsurface thermal anomalies, and the use of helium to trace the movement of mine air currents are covered. Although they are costly and time consuming, boreholes have proven to be the most efficient means to date of obtaining necessary subsurface fire data. Infrared scanning was ineffective in delineating fires under more than 30 feet of cover. Helium tracing was shown to have a good potential for determining possible hazards to adjacent residential areas from traveling mine fire gases. (Out of print.)
Mining; Abandoned mines; Fire hazards; Fire fighting; Costs; Environmental control; Fire resistant materials; Excavations
Publication Date
Document Type
IH; Information Circular
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
IC 8524
Source Name
NTIS: PB 206 137
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division