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Understanding Landfill Fires: Causes, Mechanics, and Detection


How can you detect a fire before it spreads throughout your landfill and, heaven forbid, downwind of your facility? In order to detect a subsurface fire and avoid its dire consequences, we first need to understand how landfill fires develop and the mechanics of fire spread.

Join Forester University and returning speaker Dr. Tony Sperling, P.Eng., for this live, educational webinar focused on the causes and mechanics of landfill fires and how to detect them with examples and lessons from a number of recent case studies. This introductory course will provide a foundation for follow-up sessions on landfill fire control, health and safety issues, and fire risk reduction that we will offer later this fall.

We will begin with an introduction of landfill fires—examining the basics and history—before jumping into an infamous case study from Panama that illustrates some of the challenges and dangers that can be expected when dealing with a large fire suppression.

We will then examine the common methods of fire initiation, the mechanics of fire spread, and some of the warning signs that normally present themselves long before fires break out at ground surface. Based on this information, we will review how to develop an effective monitoring program to detect fires early and some of the field investigation methods that can be used to gauge the extent of deep subsurface fires.

Learning Objectives
Attendees can expect the discussion and education of the following learning objectives.

  • Understand the mechanics of landfill fires and how they typically start
  • Determine what causes landfill fires and how they spread
  • Understand why some types of landfills are at higher risk of fires occurring
  • Understand the key components of an effective monitoring program
  • Learn why landfill gas wells can initiate subsurface fires
  • Learn how to interpret the gas composition and temperature data from a landfill fire

Train Your Team
Get the whole team trained! We offer additional savings if you register as a group. For group pricing information, contact us at

* Presentations are scheduled for approximately one hour with a 15-20 minute question and answer session to follow. Presentation may exceed scheduled time.
* Each state and certification agency has different requirements; it is your responsibility to know what they are. Note that 1 PDH = 0.1 CEU.
* Purchase of this course allows you access to the presentation(s) for 6 months from the order date.

On-Demand Webcast
Lectures: 1
Session: 1 H 30 M
Credits: 1 PDH / 0.1 CEU

On-Demand Webcasts > Waste ($79.00)


Special Group Pricing Available


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