By Jon Johnson
“We have the rims and parts of tires covering a big mound of rubber, and so it’s going to continue to burn probably for the next couple of days.”Pima Fire Chief Scott Howell
PIMA – A debris fire burning old rubber tires on steel rims for the second day in western Pima is still under investigation.
Pima Fire Chief Scott Howell said the debris pile is confined, not threatening any structures, and is not likely to spread.
The fire is burning a pile of used tires on private property around the 2000 West area of Pima. The property belongs to Metal Mite Recycling owner Ty Traylor, who had stacked the tires for recycling. Traylor said he strips the rubber off the tires and then sells the rubber and steel separately.
According to Pima Fire Chief Scott Howell, Pima Fire was dispatched Wednesday at about 4 p.m. and spent the next four hours and more than 15,000 gallons of water wetting down the rubble pile.
“We were able to cool it down and then, throughout the night, we continued to put some water on it. Today we’re just going to be keeping an eye on it.” We have the rims and parts of tires covering a big mound of rubber, and so it’s going to continue to burn probably for a couple of days. We’re just going to cool it down as needed and let it burn itself out.”
According to Traylor, he had a small pit of wood pieces from a previous trailer disposal job that was set to burn. On Wednesday, while Traylor wasn’t home, the wood pieces in the burn pit caught fire and then spread to the nearby tire pile. Traylor said he doesn’t know how the initial fire started and suspects arson, however, there weren’t any signs or tracks at the scene to confirm. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
“We’re still looking into it,” Howell said.