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Tire Dump Fire Burns On, But Officials Say It’s Contained

February 27, 1989 GMT

CATSKILL, N.Y. (AP) _ Firefighters drove bulldozers and other heavy equipment Sunday into a tire dump fire to keep the blaze from spreading, and residents near the dump began returning to their homes.

About 200 families were evacuated Saturday night and authorities allowed them to return home Sunday. But residents were advised to stay indoors to avoid the dense chemical smoke.

Officials said the fire was likely to burn for several days, but Harold Tompkins, president of the Catskill fire company, said he thought the fire was contained.

The cause of the fire was unknown.

The dump holds about 2 million tires, and about half of them caught fire. The bulldozers were used to separate the mounds of tires. Smoke from the blaze could be seen 40 miles north in Albany.

Federal officials tested air samples and determined there was no immediate health threat, said Tom June, chief of the Catskill fire company.