National Geographic News
9 comments
Yvonne Zukosky
Yvonne Zukosky

I grew up 5 miles from here. From my teens well into my 20s this was my friends and my playground. Drove on the melting highway....explored the smoking cemetary and everywhere.

Matt Carrell
Matt Carrell

So much for "cleaner" environmentally-responsible coal.  This kind of story is just more proof of the dangers of digging up things from down below that were meant to stay there.  It doesn't matter how "clean" you can make it, it's still clearly a danger to the environment (and society) because nothing prevents this kind of incident from happening again elsewhere and apparently we have very low abilities to fight these kinds of fires.  The entire coal region will likely burn underground causing it to subside with massive sink holes, poisonous fume eruptions, collapsed buildings and more disappearing townships.  Why haven't they come up with a method to fight these fires and put them out?  Heck, pump Halon gas down there, it will put it out.  DO something.. Anything but let this continue to burn as if we are helpless to stop the ongoing calamities we started..

Andrew Shecktor
Andrew Shecktor

I have been to Centralia when it was a vibrant town, and only recently following it being vacated. The site of the vacant town prompted me to write a fictional novel, based on historical events and with a section on the history of the town. Much of the history has been lost to time or is very difficult to find. If anyone is interested, it is titled "Centralia PA, Devils Fire" and can be found on Amazon by searching "Centralia PA". It is a tribute to the town, and what can happen when nature gets the better of us. We feel we can control anything, but few mine fires have ever been actually put out, and thousands burn across the world.

Kenneth Crook
Kenneth Crook

If there is coal burning underground, and it is as hot as pictured, why not use the heat to generate electricity.  Companies are trying to drill wells to reach geological hot spots.  Well the hot spot is already there close to the surface.  Why not use it?


Paul Marttin
Paul Marttin

I was recently with some friends in Centralia and honestly is .... demolishing


Darrell Cahail
Darrell Cahail

@Kenneth Crook Because of the fires the ground can no longer support heavy equipment in the area. What once was solid has burnt away leaving a weak framework of honeycombs that are unable to support heavy weight, or make it safe work environment. 

Share

Latest Energy News

The Big Energy Question

Share Your Opinion »

The Great Energy Challenge

The Great Energy Challenge is an important National Geographic initiative designed to help all of us better understand the breadth and depth of our current energy situation.

Energy News, Blog and Interactive Features »