Centralia, Pennsylvania: Centralia Mine Fire
Centralia Mine Fire
Coal veins burning since 1961, almost all of the buildings and people are gone. Unsafe ground, noxious gases -- be careful. Roadsideamerica.com Report...
Centralia Mine Fire: Since the early 1990s, a three-quarter mile stretch of Pennsylvania Highway 61 has been closed because the ground beneath it is on fire. [02/26/2017] Complete Story...
Visitor Tips and News About Centralia Mine Fire
My uncle grew up in Girardville (not far from Centralia). I remember visiting the graffiti highway as a small child and watching smoke rise up out of the ground. I haven't been in a long while, but my aunt and uncle say that the mine fire has moved on, and is now burning underneath the town of Mount Carmel.
State police will now cite anyone on graffiti highway for trespassing. Recently, 8 people were cited for riding ATV's on graffiti highway. Trespassing fees in PA are no less than $250, so be careful![Ben Perdue, 03/29/2017]
We stopped by the Graffiti Highway and the Assumption of the Blessed Mary Church (the only church remaining in Centralia). Centralia is an old coal mining town that is a near ghost town now with only 10 people remaining because there has been an underground coal mining fire, that has been burning since 1962. Most roads lead to nowhere and it's virtually overgrown.
The Graffiti Highway is a part of Route 61 that had to be shut down after the road started to buckle and become unstable. Many people bring spray paint to leave their mark on this 3/4 mile stretch of highway.[Tabitha Pauley, 12/10/2016]
Centralia Mine Fire
If you stop in Centralia when the weather is very warm, you probably won't see much smoke coming from the ground. But in the fall or winter, you won't miss it. We spoke with someone from the town and were told there are still five residents.
The view from the area near the cemetery is still one of the best views in the area. If you are looking to take in some fall foliage, this is a great place to visit. But do take time to think about all those who were forced to leave the area. And yes, the signs all appear to be gone. There is a tree that points to where the "Fire" is so you will know where to look. If you get a chance to walk on the old road, take it. If you have kids with you, keep an eye on them. There is an active fire not far below your feet.[Bigfoot & Squirrel, 10/14/2013]