Pa. DEP to seek federal funds to fight mine fire

UNIONTOWN, Pa. (AP) — The state Department of Environmental Protection plans to seek federal grants to extinguish an underground fire at an abandoned southwestern Pennsylvania coal mine.

DEP spokesman John Poister tells the (Uniontown) Herald-Standard that extinguishing the fire is “going to be a long process, because we don’t really know where the fire is.”

What officials do know is that snow won’t lay and smoke is rising from spots on a 20-acre patch of North Union Township, near the village of Phillips, about 40 miles south of Pittsburgh. The Phillips mine, owned by the defunct Frick Coal and Coke Co., closed in 1944.

Poister says it will take about two years to define the fire’s area by digging bore holes. Then workers must dig out the burning coal seam and replace it with something that isn’t flammable.


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