On October 31st (Halloween--I just realized that---3/25/04 Thursday. . . . :) ), I received the following email (undisclosed source):
Subject: mine fires
I am aware of an active mine fire in Baldwin Borough, Allegheny County.
There are multiple vents, hot spots, small surface burns...
I have been unable to locate it listed on any database?
It is off Churchview Avenue.
Are you aware of it?
No, I most certainly wasn't. I wrote the guy back, telling him that we were going to have a look around Christmas 2002, and would he like to go along---but never got a response. I wasn't actually able to make it out there until Christmas, 2003. I am going to school in Alaska, and only get back to this area (at best) once a year---and things are invariably pretty hectic when I'm there. . . .
So, off we found ourselves--in search of another mine fire! Fire!! FIRE!!!! (Um, heh-heh. Sorry about that.). Unfortunately, we got a very late start. . . .
Okay, first---I should probably tell one how to get to Baldwin:
Get on Interstate 70 [in Pennsylvania]---head toward(s) Pittsburgh.
Get on 51 north---I believe that is exit 22.
Stay on this for quite a ways; you will start seeing signs for Baldwin.
You will pass the junction with 88 on the left--not so long after this, turn left onto Maytide street.
Maytide street will ~end at a light, you will be pretty much forced to take a sharp right.
Take either the first or second left---this will "T-bone" Churchview Avenue.
A bit of a "warning": Pittsburgh area traffic just out-and-out sucks. :P
We stopped and asked for directions, and were told to, "Take Churchview [Avenue] all the way to the end---where the old mine is. There'll be some apartments, it's out behind it." Well, we did find some apartments---oddly enough, they were called Churchview Apartments. :) And the view over the hill behind them was positively *ASTOUNDING*---but we never found the fire. As I mentioned above, we got rather a late start, and just ran out of light. I am going to email the guy who sent me this email---hopefully he will tell me how to find the place; barring that, I guess I'll just have to give it another shot around Christmas 2004. I should live so long. :)
OH! -Here is a picture taken on 51 northbound. It isn't the least bit helpful---I just thought a sign for "South Park" was kind of cool, 'n stuff. :)