Willow Creek Mine Fire - A Chronology of Events

MSHA - Willow Creek Fire Image
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Week of January 24, 1999

Mine rescue teams re-entered the mine and successfully completed the exploration, recovery and re-ventilation of the D-1Northwest Headgate Entries from the No. 11 Crosscut to the longwall face. No evidence of damage from heat was found in these areas. In addition to the headgate entries, the entire longwall face was explored. Minor heat damage was found only at the tailgate shield and in the adjacent tailgate entry. Gas concentrations at the tailgate shield was approximately Methane-69%, Oxygen-0.7%, Carbon Monoxide-13 ppm, Carbon Dioxide-23%, and Hydrogen-13 ppm. After exploring the longwall face, explosion resistant seals were re-installed in the D-1 Northwest Headgate Entries. The fire area is effectively isolated from the rest of the mine with explosion resistant seals in the D Seam Bleeders, D-1 Northwest Tailgate Entries and D-1 Northwest Headgate Entries. Monitoring of the fire area continues through sampling tubings at each set of seals. The entire mine has been successfully explored, recovered and re-ventilated except for the fire area, which encompasses the longwall return entries and bleeder system.

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