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The Centralia mine fire is a coal-seam fire that has been burning in the labyrinth of abandoned coal mines underneath the borough of Centralia, Pennsylvania, United States, since at least May 27, 1962. Its original cause and start date are still a matter of debate.[1][page needed][2][3][page needed] It is burning in underground coal mines at depths of up to 300 ft (90 m) over an 8 mi (13 km) stretch of 3,700 acres (15 km2).[4] At its current rate, it could continue to burn for over 250 years.[5] It has caused most of the town to be abandoned: by 2017, the population had dwindled to 5 residents from around 1,500 at the time the fire is believed to have started,[6] and most of the buildings have been razed.

A small part of the Centralia mine fire after being exposed during excavation in 1969
View of smoke rising through a fissure in the ground in the closed-off area of former Pennsylvania Route 61. The melted snow, which covered the ground around it, shows areas where heat is escaping from the ground below.

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