For any fire to exist there must be a cause and a flamable medium. For coal fires, coal is obviously the flammable part… but what starts it can differ.
In Centralia, PA where a coal fire has burned consistantly since 1962, it was started accidently by five members of a volunteer fire department that were attempting to clean out a landfill. As they had done in the past, they burned some of the rubbish, then put it out, thinking it was extinguished. The fire supposedly fell through a crack into an abandoned coal mine, and has been burning ever since.
It’s estimated that 2-3% of the world’s carbon emissions come from underground coal fires in China, and coal fires exist all over the world in Australia, India, China and South Africa.
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