[7-County-Fires]

[ANCHOR=Marya]

[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=mjo]
[TAPE#=]
[GRAPHIC=TIRE FIRE]

Thick smoke is still drifting through the air over county residences and roads in the Roanoke Valley, as the area still deals with the effects of a massive tire fire.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co.;]


The illegal Keeling Tire dump in Roanoke County caught fire Saturday.
As of last night, firefighters estimated that more than 60 percent of tires and nearly 500 acres of brush were burning.
The brush fires are under control, but the tire fire could burn for weeks.
Governor Warner has declared a state of emergency for the area.
That means it will be eligible for additional assistance, including use of the National Guard.
Firefighters say the safest thing is to let the tire fire burn -- but they've already contained the brush fire.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 1:34:09 - :26]
[IN Q=The method here]

(())
[SUPER=01-Zeph Cunningham/Park Ranger;]
[RUNS=:17]
[OUT Q=itself burn out.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


Health Department officials have tested the air twice -- and say both tests have come back safe.
Health officials recommend that people with respiratory and heart problems stay inside and contact their doctor if they have problems.
(------------)



[7-11Keeling]


[ANCHOR=Marya]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutin]
[WRITER=jus]
[TAPE#=02-03 TC-52:58]
[GRAPHIC=Tire Fire]


The owner of the tire dump refuses to take the blame for the massive fire plaguing the county.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co.;]


69-year old Willie Keeling has owned the dumping ground for more than fifty years.
He was convicted of operating the illegal dump more than a decade ago.
Since then, state and local authorities have unsuccesffuly tried to force him to clean up the site.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 39:23]
[IN Q=You feel any responsibility]

((WILLIE KEELING/PROPERTY OWNER: YOU FEEL ANY RESPONSIBILITY THOUGH WHAT'S HAPPENED? NO, I DON'T FEEL NO RESPONSBILITY WHEN I COME HERE I WAS LEGAL. I WAS 100-PERCENT LEGAL, M2 ZONE ON THIS PLACE AND EVERYTHING AND WERE I AM RESPONSIBLE. NO, I'M NOT RESPONSIBLE.))
[SUPER=01-Willie Keeling/Property Owner;]
[RUNS=:19]
[OUT Q=I'm not responsible(double out)]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


Keeling did sign an agreement with the Department of Environment Quality and Roanoke County to authorize them to clean up the site.
(------------)



[7-11Road-Info]


[ANCHOR=Marya]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutin]
[WRITER=jen]
[TAPE#=none]
[GRAPHIC=Tire Fire]


So far, no schools or businesses have closed as a result of the fire.
But it has shut down several roads.
Roanoke County officials are asking motorists to avoid the following areas.
(XXXXXXX)

[TAKE ROADS PAGE FS 1000] That includes the intersection of Starkey and Merriman and the Intersection of Buck Mountain and Starkey. Starlight Lane is also closed..
(XXXXXXX)
[ANCHOR=Marya]
[GRAPHIC=HOLD]

Meanwhile, the seventeen mile section of the Blue Ridge Parkway between Routes 2-20 and 221 is still closed.

[45-County-Fires]


[ANCHOR=Marya]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=mjo]
[TAPE#=]
[GRAPHIC=Tire Fire]

A blanket of smoke still hovers over the Roanoke Valley, as millions of tires in a massive tire dump continue to burn.

(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co.;]


The illegal Keeling Tire dump in Roanoke County caught fire Saturday.
As of last night, firefighters estimated that more than 75 percent of the tires and nearly 500 acres of brush were burning.
The brush fires are under control, but the tire fire could burn for weeks.
Governor Warner has declared a state of emergency for the area.
That means it will be eligible for additional assistance, including use of the National Guard.
Firefighters say the safest thing is to let the tire fire burn -- but they've already contained the brush fire.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 1:34:09 - :26]
[IN Q=The method here]

(())
[SUPER=01-Zeph Cunningham/Park Ranger;]
[RUNS=:17]
[OUT Q=itself burn out.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


Health Department officials have tested the air twice -- and say both tests have come back safe.
Health officials recommend that people with respiratory conditions stay inside and contact their doctor if they have problems.
(------------)



[45-11Back-Creek]


[ANCHOR=Marya]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutin]
[WRITER=ejo]
[TAPE#=01-58 TC-2:05:23]
[GRAPHIC=Tire Fire]

Air quality and potential contamination of groundwater and nearby streams are some of the problems state authorities are concerned about.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co.;]


The State Department of Emergency Management says there have been no such problems, and they're taking steps in hopes of preventing, or limiting, any possible effects.
Back Creek is near the fire, and crews are doing their best to protect it. They have created an "underflow" designed to take in any toxic runoff from the fire.
They're also digging ravines nearby to catch any oil or runoff.
(------------)



[45-11Rain-Fire]


[ANCHOR=Marya]
[NEWSCAST=Am Cutin]
[WRITER=ejo]
[TAPE#=02-02 TC-1:14:51]
[GRAPHIC=Tire Fire]

Unlike most fires, Rain will not exactly help this situation. In fact, rain could create serious problems because of the possibility of toxic runoff.
State officials say it could create health problems in the water and air.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT Press conf tape 7:05:57]
[IN Q=You would think]

((BRETT BURDICK/VA DEPARTMENT OF EMERGENCY SERVICES: YOU WOULD THINK THAT RAIN WOULD PUT THE FIRE OUT, BUT ALL THE EVIDENCE THAT WE HAVE WITH RESPECT TO TIRE FIRES IS THAT THE HOTTER THEY BURN, THE LESS THEY POLLUTE THE AIR.))
[SUPER=01-Brett Burdick/VA Dept. of Emergency Services;]
[RUNS=10]
[OUT Q=less they pollute the air.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=04-Saturday;]


Fire officials normally prefer to let tire fires burn themselves out, but since this one is near a populated area, they may consider a way to extinguish this one sooner.
One way they can do it is with a special foam which can be brought in if needed.
(------------)



[8-County-Fires]


[ANCHOR=Marya]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutins]
[WRITER=mjo]
[TAPE#=]
[GRAPHIC=TIRE FIRE]


Smoke hangs over the Roanoke Valley as the area deals with the consequences of a massive tire fire.
(------------)
[VO-NAT]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co.;]


The illegal Keeling Tire dump in Roanoke County caught fire Saturday.
As of last night, firefighters estimated that more than 60 percent of tires and nearly 500 acres of brush were burning.
The brush fires are under control, but the tire fire could burn for weeks.
Governor Warner has declared a state of emergency for the area.
That means it will be eligible for additional assistance, including use of the National Guard.
Firefighters say the safest thing is to let the tire fire burn -- but they've already contained the brush fire.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 1:34:09 - :26]
[IN Q=The method here]

(())
[SUPER=01-Zeph Cunningham/Park Ranger;]
[RUNS=:17]
[OUT Q=itself burn out.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT]


Health Department officials have tested the air twice -- and say both tests have come back safe.
Health officials recommend that people with respiratory and heart problems stay inside and contact their doctor if they have problems.
(------------)



[8-11County-React]


[ANCHOR=Marya]
[NEWSCAST=AM Cutin]
[WRITER=rle]
[TAPE#=02-10 TC-25:18]
[GRAPHIC=Tire Fire]

Officials in Roanoke County say they were only a few days or weeks away to getting the tire site cleaned up.
(------------)
[VO-NAT - 15.5]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co.;]

County officials say they were prepared to start on site work as early as this week, and may have started removing some of the tires within two months. Officials say they tried all available means to work with Willie Keeling to get the dump cleaned up.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT - 7:13:30 - TF 10:30 Press Conf.]
[IN Q=We've utilized lawsuits...]

((PAUL MAHONEY/ROANOKE CO. ATTORNEY; WE'VE UTILIZED LAWSUITS, WE'VE UTILIZED NEGOTIATIONS, WE'VE UTILIZED ALL THE VARIOUS TOOLS THAT ARE AVAILABLE IN OUR SYSTEM TO ADDRESS THIS KIND OF PROBLEM. WE HAVE TRIED TO WORK WITH THE LAND OWNER ON MANY OCCASIONS.))
[SUPER=01-Paul Mahoney/Roanoke Co. Attorney;]
[RUNS=14]
[OUT Q=...land owner on many occasions.]
(------------)
[VO-NAT - :14+]

County officials say its much too early to discuss any lawsuits that may be filed against Keeling. So far, there is no estimate on how much it will cost to fight the fire, and then clean up the area, but county officials say they know it will be expensive. (------------)