Willow Creek Mine Fire - A Chronology of Events

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Week of February 7, 1999

Mine rescue teams re-entered the mine and successfully completed re-ventilation of the D Seam Bleeder Entries from the No. 21 to the No. 32 Crosscut. The fire area remains effectively isolated from the rest of the mine with explosion resistant seals in the D-1 Northwest Tailgate Entries and in the D-1 Northwest Headgate Entries and with substantial stoppings in D Seam Bleeder Entries.

Numerous roof falls were present in the No. 3 Entry of the D Seam Bleeder Entries and in the two outby connectors to the D-1 Northwest Tailgate Entries. Twelve substantial stoppings were constructed to isolate the D Seam Bleeder Entries from the fire area. In order to maintain low oxygen levels inside the isolated area and acceptable methane levels outside the isolated area, ventilation controls were re-established in Crosscuts 31 and 32 between the Nos. 2 and 3 entries in the D-Seam Bleeder entries to re-establish the steady state airflow inside the isolated fire area. Additionally, it was necessary to adjust airflows and mine ventilation pressures by changing regulators and by operating the horizontal degasification system intermittently.

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