Burn Rubber: The World’s 9 Worst Tire Fires

Westley Tire Fire, California USA

(image via: SFGate)

The Westley Tire Fire in Stanislaus County, California was sparked by lightning on September 22nd, 1999, and burned for almost an entire month after municipal and county officials advised “the best thing to do is to let the fire burn itself out.” Great advice, unless you live downwind. Over the course of the blaze, a half-million gallons of pyrolitic oil draining off the 7-million-strong pile of burning tires flowed into a nearby stream, which subsequently burst into flames.

The Great Everett Tire Fire of 1984, Washington USA

(images via: Siren Song and Global Archaeology)

Residents of Everett, Washington had learned to live with the approximately four million tire “Mount Firestone” looming over their town but smiles quickly faded early in the morning on September 24th, 1984 when the mountain became a volcano. The furious blaze proved to be far beyond the city fire department’s ability to manage and the tires continued to burn for months.

Fforestfach Tire Fire, Wales UK

(images via: This Is South Wales, BBC and Tyrepress.com)

Tire fires in urban settings may be smaller in scale than their rural cousins but their effects on people living nearby is magnified. Take the Fforestfach Tire Fire near Swansea, Wales, for example.

(images via: WEX Gallery)

The fire began on June 16th, 2011 when around 5,000 tons of shredded tire waste ignited into a hot, smoky, smelly and poisonous mess. Even though the fire was confined to a single building, the blaze took several weeks to be extinguished.