Town Square

Post a New Topic

Fire at the Palo Alto landfill

Original post made on Jul 23, 2008

Drivers commuting home on Highway 101 in Palo Alto got up close and personal with a fire that broke out at the Palo Alto landfill on Wednesday afternoon.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, July 23, 2008, 7:10 PM

Comments (24)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Ventura
on Jul 23, 2008 at 7:19 pm

Read carefully the last sentence of this story. It conjures up an interesting image. Serves 'em right for getting out of their cars...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Los Altos
on Jul 23, 2008 at 7:23 pm

We got a lot of smoke here in Los Altos. Didn't see any wafting commuters, however.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dave
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2008 at 7:24 pm

I saw the copter filling up at Shoreline lake - funny - is there something about fresh water that's better than the apparently closer salt water in the bay?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nayba
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 23, 2008 at 7:28 pm

Wouldn't want to harm the vegetation that might be growing on that landfill would we?

I wonder what kind of nasty toxins are in that smoke....


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lenny
a resident of Los Altos
on Jul 23, 2008 at 7:37 pm

I was wondering same thing Nayba. I heard it is a compost fire, if so it could have self-ignited, and will be tough to put out, but hopefully nothing toxic.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Michael
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 23, 2008 at 7:44 pm

"A *number* of fire engines..."?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Another Dave
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 23, 2008 at 7:49 pm

Shoreline Lake is salt water, it's a manufactured lake that gets its water from the Bay. If anything, it's saltier than the Bay.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Vit
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 23, 2008 at 7:55 pm

It's starting to get here. Was clear about an hour ago. Mountain View and Los Altos were all smoke at about 6:40pm.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mar
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 23, 2008 at 7:56 pm

i agree it smells pretty smoky in menlo park.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sean
a resident of Los Altos
on Jul 23, 2008 at 8:06 pm

Total guess on my part, but is this a spontaneous combustion event?

I have seen a number of haystack fires, caused by spontaneous combustion. There is no putting them out, they just burn out, or bulldozers are used to break them up.

If it turns out that it is spontaneous combustion, Palo Alto will probably face some fines, if not lawsuits. Compost piles are not safe, unless they are maintained safe (not an easy thing to do).


 +   Like this comment
Posted by MV resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2008 at 8:17 pm

It was hard to breath today along El Camino in Mountain View. I think MV and Los Altos got worse smoke fog that even Palo Alto


 +   Like this comment
Posted by LAH denizen
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Jul 23, 2008 at 8:19 pm

the smoke seems heavier in the hills west of palo alto at this hour. must be the wind patterns. i drove up from middlefield road where it was pretty mild, and it is much thicker up here.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2008 at 8:37 pm

I heard radio report that they were watching it burn. not a reasonable option for the residents in south palo alto. the smoke is choking us over here.

Is the smoke toxic or not? And when will they have it out. We need some answers immediately.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Non toxic
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 23, 2008 at 8:45 pm

The fire is not toxic--it's from compost, which is made up of lawn clippings!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hannah
a resident of Los Altos
on Jul 23, 2008 at 8:45 pm

I was walking around the Baylands when it happened, and my boyfriend and I are convinced we saw the tail of an airplane. It was quite eerie having the smoke fly directly over us, rapidly shifting the shadows. I'm impatient to discover how exactly the fire started and what that shape we saw was.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2008 at 9:14 pm

Hannah

You should inform the police and firedept what you saw and where.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by 39xx middlefield
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 23, 2008 at 9:23 pm

I got home and the neighborhood smelled like a campground.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by jer
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 23, 2008 at 9:28 pm

I was at the driving range; heard a loud crack, like a tree branch hitting a power line, then 5 or 6 assorted red and yellow fire trucks whizzed by, along with a few battalion chiefs. I could also see the helicopters dumping water out by the freeway. Every few minutes, a new truck would race down Embarcadero in one direction or the other.

My whole neighborhood smells like a campfire, and smoke is visible everywhere.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by RS
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 23, 2008 at 9:31 pm

"I saw the copter filling up at Shoreline lake - funny - is there something about fresh water that's better than the apparently closer salt water in the bay?"

Bay has a lot of power lines.



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Dad
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 23, 2008 at 10:12 pm

The smell is still very strong in West Menlo at 10pm. We have closed all our windows.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by *gasp*
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jul 23, 2008 at 10:40 pm

i am dying down here, the smoke is so thick....


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pet owner
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 23, 2008 at 10:55 pm

It's still very smoky here. It might be better to bring pets inside.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2008 at 10:59 pm

channel 2 reports it will take several days to put out!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Earl
a resident of Woodside
on Jul 24, 2008 at 12:29 am

I'm out in Woodside at the edge of Emerald Hills. Am not liking breathing burnt "compost" particles. A air purifier would sure come in handy right now!


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Early Decision Blues
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 0 comments | 2,213 views

One night only: ‘Occupy the Farm’ screening in Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 1 comment | 2,107 views

First Interview
By Sally Torbey | 10 comments | 1,379 views

Death with Dignity
By Chandrama Anderson | 2 comments | 1,316 views

Guest Post #2 from HSSV: Labradoodle Back on His Feet
By Cathy Kirkman | 2 comments | 398 views