Garbage truck drops flaming 'hot load' in Long Lake, Minn.

A Waste Management driver had to abandon the garbage truck's flaming "hot load" in Long Lake, Minn. late Thursday morning. "Hot load" is indeed a firefighter's term for flaming garbage, and there's a reason why the truck had to dump it: It could be dangerous.

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The driver unloaded the mostly burning cardboard along Highway 12 near Long Lake per company orders.

"Waste Management's protocol for dealing with trash that is burning in one of our trucks is to pull over safely and tip the burning trash out onto a surface," a spokesman said.

Firefighters prefer the flaming garbage outside the truck as well. Minneapolis Battalion Chief Steve Dziedzic is on the hazardous materials team.

"People throw away stuff that they're not supposed to all the time. There's always the possibility of cylinders, paint thinners, gasoline cans, still with content in them," he said.

Having the burning trash outside the truck makes the items in the fire easier to see, easier to put out, and reduces the risk of the truck exploding.

Waste Management says trucks have several ignition sources, including the fuel itself but also hydraulics and other fluids in the truck that could potentially ignite "very easily."

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