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Tire Fire in Olmito Could Cause Health Problems

4 years 6 months 1 week ago Sunday, January 22 2017 Jan 22, 2017 January 22, 2017 8:14 PM January 22, 2017 in News

OLMITO--A tire fire in Olmito earlier this month could bring health problems.
     A valley science teacher says the danger comes from the chemicals in the tires.
     "Tires are one of the worst things you could possibly burn because of all of the contaminants," said science teacher Julian Medrano. "Each tire is approximately composed of about 2 gallons of oil. When you burn oil...you burn a tire...it's going to release sulfur dioxide. Sulfur dioxide is going to cause an irritation to your lungs and throat." 
     The fire burned for days. Brownsville fire assistant chief Cesar Pedraza said they haven't responded to any hot spots since early this week. An estimated 500,000 tires were on the property in Olmito.
     On a windy day like Sunday's red flag warning, the danger of fires is high due to the strong winds and dry conditions. Medrano says those chemicals from the tires don't just stay in one place.
     "When you have this much wind, it's going to get spread a lot further than normal," Medrano said.
     The tires are still there. Medrano says the chemicals can stay there for years if not cleaned properly. Assistant fire chief Pedraza tells us the TCEQ has been contacted about the clean up of the tires.

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