SAFETY

Lila Canyon Mine at risk of closure due to month-long fire

Oct 26, 2022, 11:00 AM
Lila canyon mine...
Lila Canyon Mine fire near Price, Utah. (Bureau of Land Management)
(Bureau of Land Management)
EAST CARBON, Utah — Embers are still smoldering at the Lila Canyon Mine, which has been burning since Sept. 20. According to the Bureau of Land Management, the mine could be closed permanently.
 
230 workers have been kept from their jobs because of this fire. Lila Canyon is Utah’s busiest mine in Emery County.
 
The fire is seriously threatening two of Utah’s biggest power plants, according to the BLM. The two plants, both Rocky Mountain Power, have completely lost their main coal supplier.
 
The BLM said the plants cranked out almost 40% of Utah’s power last year.

Solutions

An environmental assessment is being prepared by the BLM of Green River District.

“The actions approved in this environmental assessment are focused on extinguishing the fire, and by doing so, prevent damage to equipment and existing mine infrastructure,” said BLM Utah State Director Greg Sheehan in a press release. 

The solutions could include drill pads, boreholes, road improvements and a temporary above-ground water pipeline. Although, according to the press release, authorization would be needed through a Title V right of way, and implemented in accordance with 43 CFR Part 2800.

If extinguishable, experts said putting the fire out will be a serious process that could months. The mine may never be up and running again. 

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Lila Canyon Mine at risk of closure due to month-long fire