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PAFirefighter11 10-15-2012 02:11 PM

The Real Silent Hill - Centralia, PA - Underground Mine Fire Burning Since '62
 
For those who are unaware, Centralia, PA has a mine fire burning deep underneath the town. The fire started in the trash pit back in 1962 and has been burning ever since. Estimates put the duration of the burn (From this point) in centuries - 250-500 years or more. Roger Avery, director of the "Silent Hill" movie, has said part of his inspiration for the movie was from Centralia. He was told about Centralia when he was a child by his father. He and the production crew for the movie visited Centralia as well.

I edited a video late last night (1am). It has some good shots of the highway, smoke from the fire, the church, etc. I've only edited 1 other video ever, so it's nothing amazing.

Click here for the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynfKrvRhFF4

Once a thriving mountain town with thousands of people, on top of a massive deposite of Anthracite coal (the longest burning coal in the world), Centralia has deteriorated significantly over the years. Currently the population estimate is under 7 people. As of yesterday it seems only 2-3 houses, a church, an autobody style shop, and the municpal building remain.

Route 61, the main north-south thru-road, has had problems as well. The only Route 61 has subsided extensively. That part of the road has been closed, and a new road around it has been established for several years now. As you can see from the image below, it is not somewhere you want to drive your car. Though a Jeep, or other four wheel drive vehicle makes for a fun time:

http://pafirefighter11.smugmug.com/S.../BCM6822-L.jpg

http://pafirefighter11.smugmug.com/S.../BCM6829-L.jpg

As you heard from the video, this is the most people I've EVER seen here on one trip:
http://pafirefighter11.smugmug.com/S.../BCM6826-L.jpg

http://pafirefighter11.smugmug.com/S.../BCM6828-L.jpg

This part of Centralia is the ridge that runs west to east:
http://pafirefighter11.smugmug.com/S.../BCM6832-L.jpg

In the distance you can see new wind turbines that were added over the last 2-3 years:
http://pafirefighter11.smugmug.com/S.../BCM6833-L.jpg

http://pafirefighter11.smugmug.com/S.../BCM6834-L.jpg

You can also see the church:
http://pafirefighter11.smugmug.com/S.../BCM6831-L.jpg

Which upon closer inspection, is really quite near to the church in "Silent Hill" - closer shot:
http://pafirefighter11.smugmug.com/S...urch-HDR-L.jpg

One of 3 cemetaries in town:
http://pafirefighter11.smugmug.com/S.../BCM6851-L.jpg

http://pafirefighter11.smugmug.com/S.../BCM6852-L.jpg

Heading out of town to the East provides some great trails. There are some nice powerlines trails, and intersecting trails that provide some mild wheeling. Nothing too crazy, but it can get a little sketchy at times. Some shots here:
http://pafirefighter11.smugmug.com/S.../BCM6857-L.jpg

http://pafirefighter11.smugmug.com/S.../BCM6855-L.jpg

And here - cell shot from yesterday:
http://pafirefighter11.smugmug.com/S...MAG0021-XL.jpg

More photos here:
http://pafirefighter11.smugmug.com/S...5741749_Nr7qt8

More trips, more videos, more photos in the future. I'm open to recommendations on what you would like to see more of when I head up there next time.

flatsfisher83 10-15-2012 02:13 PM

If memory serves correctly, that was also a Jeep product in the movie.

PAFirefighter11 10-15-2012 02:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by flatsfisher83 (Post 2892170)
If memory serves correctly, that was also a Jeep product in the movie.

Indeed. KJ with Ohio tags:
http://www.imcdb.org/i046964.jpg

mackdj1 10-15-2012 02:20 PM

I seen a documentary on this town about a couple of years ago. It's hard to believe something like that can really happen. Cool photos btw.

PAFirefighter11 10-15-2012 03:13 PM

Since some of you enjoy the "smoke" photos - here are some older photos with the smoke:

http://pafirefighter11.smugmug.com/S.../BCM0363-L.jpg

http://pafirefighter11.smugmug.com/S.../BCM0407-L.jpg

http://pafirefighter11.smugmug.com/S.../BCM0421-L.jpg

http://pafirefighter11.smugmug.com/S.../BCM2898-L.jpg

http://pafirefighter11.smugmug.com/S.../BCM5211-L.jpg

http://pafirefighter11.smugmug.com/S...urch-HDR-L.jpg

http://pafirefighter11.smugmug.com/S...01_eX8Ai-L.jpg


Self portrait of me hanging out in one of the smoke filled holes:

http://pafirefighter11.smugmug.com/S...04_th9UF-L.jpg

flatsfisher83 10-15-2012 03:16 PM

Well played, sir. :thumb:

Quote:

Originally Posted by PAFirefighter11 (Post 2892191)
Indeed. KJ with Ohio tags:
http://www.imcdb.org/i046964.jpg


InvertChaos 10-15-2012 04:57 PM

I just saw silent hill for the first time this weekend. I was just thinking how cool it would be if it were based on an actual place. Very cool pictures, but you'd have a hard time getting me there!

PAFirefighter11 10-16-2012 08:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by InvertChaos (Post 2892666)
I just saw silent hill for the first time this weekend. I was just thinking how cool it would be if it were based on an actual place. Very cool pictures, but you'd have a hard time getting me there!

Great movie, right? I love the comparison of the church in Silent Hill to the one up in Centralia. The front end is very similar. Thanks much - you should definitely check it out some time! I forgot to add my "drive around" video of the town. You can see one of the remaining houses, and the rest is .. well, just empty streets.

The video is here: "The Real Silent Hill" - Centralia, PA Street Tour - YouTube

PAFirefighter11 10-18-2012 08:56 AM

For those interested, I just found this today. These are the current fire fronts - this is thermal infrared imagery:

http://ars.els-cdn.com/content/image...001510-gr4.jpg

http://ars.els-cdn.com/content/image...001510-gr3.jpg

ScienceDirect.com - International Journal of Coal Geology - Mapping the coal fire at Centralia, Pa using thermal infrared imagery


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