It could be days before a fire in a junk and debris pile burns out in Thurston County.

The fire started Tuesday night in a gravel pit in Rochester near 163rd and Case Road. According to the Department of Natural Resources, it belongs to a company that contracts out to others, including the Washington Department of Transportation, as a place to dump debris.

The fire has spread to about three-acres.

Firefighters with West Thurston Fire Department say the plan is to let the fire burn itself out. They are looking into whether wood chips buried in the pile may have self combusted.

Neighbors say they have been worried about the pile for years. The fire burned close to a handful of homes overnight, but no damage was caused. Still, neighbors said they could hear tires popping and exploding in the fire.

Firefighters are trucking in water to help contain the fire because no hydrants are located nearby.

The fire is not expected to spread any further.

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