Thursday, August 02, 2007

Grain silo fire

Just a reminder that, with all its yuppie pretensions, Petaluma is still a farm town. The shot is of the new high-density urban live-work housing in the center of town, and in the background, the grain silo, which has been burning for four days, reminding us of our heritage with each pungent breath we take of burning canola smoke.

Canola fires are tricky to put out, since water just turns the stuff into an immovable sludge. They're injecting carbon dioxide into the fire, hoping to put it out in a couple more days.

Interestingly, the silo operators had been trying for some months to get the canola, which had decomposed and was heating up, out of the silo, but were not fast enough.

UPDATE: August 7. Is there a budding Francis Scott Key in the house?

Somehow, the stars and stripes are now flying over the burning building.

For the third time, the fire department has declared the demise of the great Petaluma grain silo fire, even as smoke now pours out of all the windows of the top floor instead of just the corner.

“Rather than bringing out grain, we’re now taking out clumps and pieces, and it’s kicking up a lot of smoke,” says the fire chief, Chris Albertson.

Photo and comment from the Petaluma Argus Courier.

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