Baltimore County's handling of the dump fire in Granite does not instill confidence in the Hayden administration.
When the fire was still limited to a small portion of the private landfill, the county refused help from Baltimore City. That refusal was not based on objective criteria but on county fire officials' interpretation of what the manning level of city fire crews should be. The county thus interfered in a contentious labor dispute between the city and its firefighters' union and violated the spirit of a mutual aid agreement. These actions proved harmful. Whereas the fire may have been containable when the city offered help, the county's refusal allowed flames to spread to most of the five-acre landfill.
The county then brought in a Missouri fire expert who tried to douse the burning debris with foam. Ten days and $23,000 later, his efforts were pronounced useless. "It's a very deep-seated fire," a county fire official said. "With the foam, we weren't really getting down to where the fire is burning, so the foam just wasn't doing us any good."