Snuffing coal-seam fire to cost $250,000

State officials hope to snuff out a coal-mine fire that has burned for decades in the seams that lie beneath the lava flow that formed Grand Mesa.

The Go Boy Mine about three miles east of Palisade has been an on-again, off-again fire that most recently seems to have built up anew, sending smoke and heat waves out of the mine entrance, said Steve Renner, project manager for the Inactive Mines Program of the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety.

Using a grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior, Renner hopes to begin the process of starving the Go Boy Mine fire of the oxygen that’s sustaining it.

The first step is to construct an earthen cap at the mine portal, then drill holes into the mine and build an airtight wall to shut off the major source of oxygen to the fire, Renner said.

Western Slope Flagstone is to build the earthen cap, and a second company is to be chosen later to drill into the mine and create the airtight seal, Renner said.

The project is expected to cost about $250,000 and be complete by the end of June.

The fire in the Go Boy Mine is one of 34 in Colorado.

When grant money became available for mine fires, the Go Boy was chosen because of its proximity to the Cameo and Roadside mines.

“It’s limited in size and scope,” Renner said, “so it made sense to take a stab at it right now.”


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