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Rice County working with the state as landfill fire continues to burn

Residents who need to dispose of household items should contact a licensed Rice County hauler.

DUNDAS, Minn. — Editor's note: The video above first aired on KARE 11 on May 24, 2023.

Four days after a fire broke out at the Rice County landfill, the site remains closed to non-licensed haulers as officials work to mitigate any issues from the burn.

The Solid Waste Facility, which includes the landfill and Recycling Center, will stay closed through Monday, May 29.

Officials are still working to figure out what started the fire on Monday, May 22, and how to stop it as the landfill continues to smolder Friday afternoon.

On Thursday, Northfield Fire & Rescue Services Chief Tom Nelson said he would request emergency response mutual aid to respond to the fire, which worsened hazy skies in the area.

People who live nearby told KARE 11 reporter Jennifer Hoff they're frustrated by the lack of communication from state and local leaders, and credited Sen. Bill Lieske with getting them some of the help they need moving forward.

"It was like there was a fog here," said Claudine Barbetti. "And the burning plastic smell, you could feel it in your lungs when you breathed the air." 

"They need to let us know what is going on with the statuses and what the plan is because if they have a plan, we don't know it," she added.

WATCH: Rice County landfill continues to smolder after fire

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency said that it's aware of the fire at the landfill, writing in a statement, "We are monitoring the situation and advising local officials. This facility is required to follow their emergency response plan and contingency action plan when there is an incident like a fire."

Residents who need to dispose of household items should contact one of the licensed Rice County haulers, listed here.

The county also launched a new website to share updates and information about the ongoing fire. 

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