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Smoke wafts from a smoldering pile of ash tree chips outside the waste management facility on Easton Avenue on Tuesday.

WATERLOO — Authorities plan to tackle a long-smoldering fire in a large wood chip pile on the edge of town.

The low-intensity fire in the mounds of ash tree remnants — located behind the city’s waste water treatment facility on Easton Avenue — has been burning for several days.

Wind conditions Monday kicked it up a notch, and on Tuesday the smoky odor was apparent downtown.

“Other than the smoke, we don’t think there is any danger there,” said Fire Chief Pat Treloar.

He said the heart of the blaze is deep within the pile, which makes it difficult for firefighters to reach, and the location of the pile isn’t easily accessible for fire engines.

City officials are planning to break up the mounds with earth-moving equipment to get at the fire, Treloar said.

The chips are ground up ash trees that were taken down in the wake of the emerald ash borer outbreak.

Steve Hoambrecker, Waste Management Services director, said the fire likely started from the biological process that produces heat as the wood chips break down.

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Police and Courts Reporter

Cops and courts reporter for the Courier

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