A Collinsville fire was still burning Tuesday morning at least 15 hours after it began, at times shrouding nearby Interstate 55 with smoke until it was extinguished in afternoon.
Fire Chief Kevin Edmond said the fire was about 30 feet down a cliff and may have been smoldering underground or under a great deal of tree and yard debris for some time. The site is used by a tree and lawn service.
The Collinsville Fire Department used a trackhoe Tuesday to help determine how deep the fire was, Edmond said. Firefighters battled flames from about 11 p.m. Monday to 1 a.m. Tuesday, but otherwise had a crew there monitoring its progress.
Firefighters coming in at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday to relieve the overnight crew described the situation as "messy."
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency was expected on Tuesday, Edmond said, to determine what might be burning. The chief said it appeared to be tree debris and concrete, but he called the IEPA to be sure.
Edmond had said the fire could burn for days, given the amount of debris and its placement. However, by 3 p.m. Tuesday, the Collinsville Fire Department was able to extinguish it.