Several Fayette County agencies announced this week they are collaborating to keep the public informed regarding the cleanup process at the Straathof Swine Farm facility that was destroyed by fire June 19.
These agencies, including Fayette County Public Health, Fayette County EMA and the county commissioners, released a press release stating they “are aware of the public’s concerns with the cleanup process” at the Wayne Township swine farm. Approximately 5,000 swine were killed during the June 19 fire.
“We can assure you that every precaution is being taken to accomplish this massive cleanup effort in a safe and environmentally-friendly way,” the statement said. “Many steps are being taken to control odor, dust, insects, including flies, as well as air quality control monitoring.”
Authorities said crews are working seven days a week, including Wednesday’s July 4 holiday, in extreme heat and other adverse weather conditions to complete the cleanup in a timely manner.
“Due to the extent of the damage done by the fire, cleanup efforts will take time and the community’s patience is requested and appreciated,” the statement said. “We understand and are aware that at times depending on the weather conditions, odors may be recognizable. However, this is a temporary situation as crews continue the cleanup efforts.”
The cause and the origin of the fire are still under investigation, according to the Ohio Fire Marshal’s Office, and no foul play is suspected. Kelly Stincer, an Ohio Fire Marshal’s Office public information officer, said late last week that investigators hope to close the investigation in the next couple of weeks.
Throughout the day of the fire, firefighters from five counties battled the blaze at 7111 Old Route 35 Southeast. Along with the Washington and Wayne Township fire departments, firefighters and resources were requested from the Concord-Greene, Bloomingburg-Paint-Marion, Jefferson Township and Pic-A-Fay fire departments. As the fire continued to intensify, additional fire agencies and resources from Highland, Ross, Pickaway and Greene counties were requested to respond and assist with battling the fire and providing water tankers. The Fayette County Emergency Management Agency and Fayette County EMS also responded to the scene.
Anyone with questions or concerns is asked to contact Jenny Coe or Leigh Cannon of Fayette County Public Health, Division of Environmental Health, at 740-333-3590.