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02-07-2020, 01:22 PM - 3 Likes   #1
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Burning Mountain

A mountain close to Sparwood has been burning underground for over 30 years in coal seams that resulted in no less than 3 mine digs closing in the same mountain. The latest, panel 6, is closest to the surface and when conditions are right, we see steam generated from the hot granite figures above the panel.

These photos were taken on the morning of 7 February 2020 and are the first where I was able to capture the steam against an open sky, thanks to my friend Rick who saw them this morning on his way to work and texted me.

One was taken at 300mm, the other at 55mm to show how close the mountain is to the District of Sparwood by including the roof of our local Glass Shop.

Burning Mountain steam 300 mm


Burning Mountain 55mm


02-07-2020, 02:53 PM   #2
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Fascinating that this happens. Was it originally human caused? Thanks for sharing this.
02-07-2020, 03:25 PM   #3
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There were coal mine fires that burned for years where i live here in western Maryland and this is something we used to see all the time, most if not all the fires have died out after they cut off the air supply to the fires.
02-07-2020, 03:26 PM   #4
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We have one of those here in the States too, burning for decades. Nothing you can do about it.

02-07-2020, 04:18 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by bertwert Quote
Fascinating that this happens. Was it originally human caused? Thanks for sharing this.
Only in the sense that humans dug into the coal seam and worked underground. Combine methane and coal dust and it takes almost nothing to set it off, sometimes explosively.

QuoteOriginally posted by bschriver11 Quote
There were coal mine fires that burned for years where i live here in western Maryland and this is something we used to see all the time, most if not all the fires have died out after they cut off the air supply to the fires.
It isn't possible to put these out. Granite mountains are not air proof. All three of the same were flooded, but the water table is much lower than the seam.

QuoteOriginally posted by Apet-Sure Quote
We have one of those here in the States too, burning for decades. Nothing you can do about it.
Only the UK can put them out, and then only those below the oceans. They blast to let the water in.
02-07-2020, 04:45 PM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Apet-Sure Quote
We have one of those here in the States too, burning for decades. Nothing you can do about it.
Centralia, PA?
02-07-2020, 04:46 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
A mountain close to Sparwood has been burning underground for over 30 years in coal seams that resulted in no less than 3 mine digs closing in the same mountain. The latest, panel 6, is closest to the surface and when conditions are right, we see steam generated from the hot granite figures above the panel.

These photos were taken on the morning of 7 February 2020 and are the first where I was able to capture the steam against an open sky, thanks to my friend Rick who saw them this morning on his way to work and texted me.

One was taken at 300mm, the other at 55mm to show how close the mountain is to the District of Sparwood by including the roof of our local Glass Shop.

Burning Mountain steam 300 mm


Burning Mountain 55mm
Good thing you had your camera with you!
02-07-2020, 04:47 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
Only in the sense that humans dug into the coal seam and worked underground. Combine methane and coal dust and it takes almost nothing to set it off, sometimes explosively.

It isn't possible to put these out. Granite mountains are not air proof. All three of the same were flooded, but the water table is much lower than the seam.

Only the UK can put them out, and then only those below the oceans. They blast to let the water in.
Starved of air they will go out. The mountains in western Maryland are not granite.

02-07-2020, 05:10 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by bschriver11 Quote
Starved of air they will go out. The mountains in western Maryland are not granite.
I sit corrected.
02-08-2020, 07:51 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Apet-Sure Quote
We have one of those here in the States too, burning for decades. Nothing you can do about it.
Yeah, a lot more than one. Check out Teddy Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. The region burned for thousands of years. There were coal vein fires when we passed though a couple decades ago. As mentioned, coal and methane is a wicked combination. Add a little oxygen and a tiny bit of heat and you reach flame point. Lightning does most of the ignition, but so can spontaneous combustion from inside a decaying pile of plant material.
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