UPDATE | DEP officials cannot confirm the Jeansville mine fire to be extinguished
UPDATE: The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) released Wednesday that it cannot confirm the Jeansville mine fire has been extinguished.
The DEP stated the following:
"The DEP continues to utilize a contractor, Hazleton Shaft, to extinguish the fire and is working with them to drill additional monitoring holes to determine if coal material continues to burn beneath the surface. The department’s goal is to extinguish the fire on both the active mining and the abandoned sections of the 25-acre mine fire area. To date, approximately 44-million gallons of water and 14-million gallons of foam have been utilized to fight this fire and 5-million cubic yards of material have been excavated and removed from the site."
Officials from DEP say they did not participate in Wednesday morning's news conference.
A meeting will be held in the coming months on the status of the mine fire, according to DEP's statement.
ORIGINAL STORY: The Jeansville mine fire is officially out.
Congressman Lou Barletta, along with State Senator John Yudichak and township supervisors, announced the news Wednesday morning.
The Jeansville mine fire was discovered back in 2012 by the Hazleton Shaft Corporation, according to Barletta's website.
Officials say the fire had been burning underground for possibly over 30 years before surfacing.
“While it took six years and the combined efforts of officials on all levels of government, we are all glad to be here today to tell the people of Jeansville that this fire has finally been extinguished,” Barletta said.
A $9.3-million contract was given to the corporation to extinguish it in November 2015.
Barletta's website states the Department of Environmental Protection will watch the site from now on to ensure the safety of locals.