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Smoke On The Horizon Traditional Geocache

This cache has been archived.

Team_Merchlinsky: Just do not have the time to get out there for this one, it has had a good run, and I believe would have continued, but since someone took the container, it isn't safe anymore either. Sorry but since other people are so mean.

1.5 out of 5
2.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   regular (regular)

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Geocache Description:

This cache was formally known as "The Town Before Time"

Centralia, like most towns and cities in Northeast Pennsylvania, was economically based around the mining of anthracite coal. In 1962, it was decided that an old strip mine site would be used as a landfill to serve the small town. A fire in the landfill unknowingly ignited an exposed coal vein that runs underneath the entire town and the surrounding area. This was not discovered until several years later, when people attending a church near the landfill began to complain about the foul smelling sulfurous odors rising from the ground. The proper authorities were brought in, and high levels of carbon monoxide confirmed that the coal vein was on fire.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the US Government made many costly attempts to bring the underground fire under control. Eventually, the toxic fumes and possibility of ground subsidence became life threatening, and most of the 1,100 residents were relocated by the federal government between 1985 and 1991 at a cost of over $42 million. The houses that they lived in were bought out and then torn down, and today all that remains of Centralia are about a dozen buildings, a network of empty streets and approximately 46 people. Part of Route 61 had to be closed and diverted in 1992 and 1993 because the cracks and warps in the pavement were so severe that it was impassable to any vehicles.

The coal vein continues to burn unchecked to this day. It, at present, covers 450 acres underground and shows no sign of stopping. The Commonwealth and the federal government continue to urge those remaining in the town to relocate. Several solutions have been proposed to stop the fire, including digging a 500-foot trench around the town. It is estimated that it would cost over half a billion dollars to extinguish the fire. It has been speculated that if the fire continues to burn, it could threaten the town of Ashland, less than two miles away.

The final cache location is somewhere among the remains of Centralia. The cache container is a 30 Cal Ammo can

Additional Hints (No hints available.)