Disasters: Dire Pyre of Tires

Dire Pyre of Tires

Jerry Jamison's junkyard in rural Weld County, Colo., 40 miles northeast of Denver, is called Tire Mountain. But last week it was easy to confuse it with the Great Smokies. One lightning bolt was all it took to transform Jamison's burial ground for dead treads into a conflagration that spewed a plume of black smoke 9,000 feet into the Rocky Mountain sky. An estimated 2 million tires, 40% of Jamison's inventory, blazed over 20 acres, forcing the temporary evacuation of about 25 families. As scores of fire fighters worked the hoses, a U.S. Forest Service plane dumped fire retardant, and a...

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