Plum Springs Man Uncovers Large and Possibly Hazardous Tire Dump

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PLUM SPRINGS, Ky. (WBKO) -- A man has uncovered a large, illegal tire dump in Warren County.

Officials believe it may have been created more than 40 years ago on part of his property in Plum Springs. This isn't the first time the county has had to clean up this land just off Plum Springs Rd.

"We actually cleaned up the dump that was on the ground about six or seven years ago, and unbeknownst to us, there was an illegal dump underneath it of tires," said Warren County Division of
Environmental Planning and Assistance Coordinator Stan Reagan.

The new owner of the land attempted to burn some brush and clean up the area when he discovered thousands of tires beneath dirt, rock and brush.

"He accidentally caught fire to some tires that happened to be outcropping. He didn't know they were there and it spread underground," said Reagan.

Reagan says the tires smoldered for days, and extinguishing them required help from the Richardsville Volunteer Fire Department. Now that it appears the smoke has settled, the tires and other problems remain.

"The main thing we have to worry about now is the ponding of water, the ash that might be remaining, and mosquitoes. The mosquitoes can habitate in the tires that are here and cause a nuisance," said Reagan.

It could become not only a nuisance, but a health hazard.

"With it becoming the fall season, it's going to get cooler, so we don't expect that to be a major problem for very long," said Reagan.

The area was once a natural drainage area that brought stormwater from the hillside to Barren River and a freshwater spring nearby. Now water settles in the burnt tires, and Reagan fears the ashy muck may flow into the river. He says the Warren County Road Department who sprays the area for mosquitoes, has also been notified to "step up" their spraying efforts.

Reagan says it's not clear how much the cleanup will cost the county or property owner, but today, the Warren County Fiscal Court passed a formal resolution, asking the state for emergency assistance.

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