ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – New worries today about the burning Bridgeton landfill, including where the fire is, and how much time it might take to build a firebreak trench to isolate the nuclear waste.

In a letter sent to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, nationally recognized landfill consultant Todd Thalhamer warns the fire may have spread beyond a line of containment wells closer to the nuclear waste at the West Lake Landfill.

This latest bad news comes after the Army Corps of Engineers announced it will be at least 18 months before they can begin digging a firebreak trench.

That’s not sitting well with Pattonville Fire District Assistant Chief Matt LaVanchy.

“We knew that this was going to take some time. The big question is is we don’t know how much time we have,” LaVanchy says.

Both LaVanchy and Thalmayer are calling for more tests to determine where the fire is now and how far it is from nuclear material.

Russ Knocke, a spokesperson for Bridgeton Landfill, released the following statement in reply:

“Yet again, Mr. Thalhamer is using limited data to manufacture an argument which the totality of data refutes. He ignores the lack of settlement and absence of carbon monoxide in the North Quarry. Both are scientific indicators of the reaction’s location and movement. All data continues to confirm that the reaction is in the South Quarry, moving away from the adjacent West Lake Landfill and the neck in-between the two sites

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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