Around 1995, a mine fire was started in the area of Russell Par in Carbondale, near the original location of the Powderly Colliery. The cause was most like a man-made fire from garbage in a stripping pit on the site. In 1996, the US Office of Surface Mining (OSM) dug a large trench around 130′ deep to contain the fire and allow it to burn out. The trench was backfilled. By the end of 1997, it was apparent the fire spread past the trench, and OSM dug another trench to contain the breached area. This time the trench was left open to monitor it visually, as well as many borehole drilled throughout the site. By 2017, the fire was still burning and additional federal funding was used to excavate and reclaim the site, the contract being awarded at $8.95 million dollars.
The Tribune Jan 29, 1998, Page B11
The Times-Tribune Sep 24, 2015, Page A3