Bali’s Suwung landfill has been burning since Monday afternoon.
As of Thursday afternoon, smoke at the South Denpasar dump is still visible.
There are two main factors making the fire so difficult to extinguish according to South Denpasar Police Chief Comr. Nyoman Wirajaya: first, the depth of the fire and second, the large burn area, which is about nine hectares.
“There is still smoke there. Indeed it is difficult, because the wet waste contains methane gas, so the depth of the fire is difficult to guess,” Wirajaya told Tribun Bali on Wednesday.
The toxic gas sits as a layer under the wet garbage, usually as far down as a depth of two meters, says Wirajaya.
No doubt all that toxic gas that’s under the surface and smoking up into the air is doing wonders for the environment, and our lungs.
“The area is so vast, nine hectares,” the police chief explained.
The dump is about 36 hectares in total. Firefighters have been digging a trench around the burn area since the fire broke out on Monday to try and contain it.
Wirajaya also said that detecting hotspots has been a challenge.
There’s been no official statement on the definitive cause of the fire, but Wirajaya said earlier this week that it could be either from a methane gas explosion, a cigarette butt, or from glass heating up after being exposed to light—like a magnifying glass effect.
This week’s hot weather has also not made it any easier to kill the fire.