Substance that killed Transfer Station birds remains mystery
The Douglas County Transfer Station reopened on Wednesday after a mysterious substance blamed for the deaths of a score of birds resulted in the closure of both Highway 395 and the station on Tuesday morning.
The cause of the bird deaths remain a mystery, Battalion Chief Scott Fraser said Wednesday.
A hazardous materials crew didn’t find anything that might have killed 20 birds on Tuesday morning.
“We were unable to determine anything, so we decided there was no further public safety threat, and turned the Transfer Station over to Douglas Disposal,” Fraser said.
Fraser said firefighters saw and counted the birds, which included sparrows and finches, and collected some for testing.
Workers said in the initial report 10 a.m. Tuesday that some sort of cloud arose from a Douglas Disposal truck during loading and killed the birds.
Typically, the birds inhabiting the Transfer Station swoop down on the trucks looking for food, Fraser said.
The truck left the Transfer Station, but was stopped on Highway 395 between Mica Drive and Jacks Valley Road. The Nevada Highway Patrol and Department of Transportation closed the highway for around two hours, diverting traffic through Indian Hills.
Neither the truck nor the Transfer Station could be sealed, so whatever may have done in the birds could well have dissipated before rescuers were able to test.
By the time firefighters examined the truck there was no sign of any toxin. The same occurred when state emergency responders checked the Transfer Station.
Fraser said emergency crews cleared the station around 5 p.m. Tuesday and released the scene to Douglas Disposal. No humans were injured by whatever killed the birds.