Emergency responders call in Black Hawk support for landfill fire

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Fire crews are hoping the fire at Earthmovers Landfill in Elkhart is on its way out after more than 24 hours at the site.

On Wednesday, they tried flying some planes over the landfill which dumped water in short spurts, but on Thursday they brought in a couple of Black Hawk helicopters to hopefully make a huge dent in the firefighting process.

It’s still burning, maybe to less of an extent than Wednesday, but sure enough, there’s still smoke pouring out of the top of the landfill.

“There has been some advancement," Concord Township Fire Chief Rick Rochford said. "Speculations on this is that we’ve got a 45 percent containment process.”

That was just from noon Thursday. In the evening, things are looking a lot better after two teams of air support came in to douse the fire.

“Our hope is is that is going to be the resolution to this particular incident,” Rochford said.

They hope it’s going to be over soon...

“My hope is within the next 30 minutes,” Rochford said.

There’s really no saying how long the fire will keep burning.

“If it goes deeper into the ground, it means that ti’s going to take a lot more time and a lot more water and a lot more efforts to get this fire under control,” Rochford said.

The fire fighters are concerned about the fire, but the smoke is something that’s been a concern for a lot of people around the area, especially considering there could be toxic chemicals.

“So far those basically have been very good," The Elkhart County Heath Department's Dr. Dan Nofziger said. "We haven’t seen significant amounts of those in the measurements that have been taken.”

They still wouldn’t recommend hanging out in the smoke, but thankfully things are getting better for the same reason the fire’s been difficult to manage.

“The small advantage, i guess, of having brisk winds is that it’s diluting the smoke as it spreads out over the county,” Nofziger said.

They said sometime Thursday they were hoping to have some documents up on the Sheriff’s webpage detailing what they’ve found in their tests with the smoke. So if you’re concerned about the smoke, you can keep checking back here and we will post it when it becomes available.