A fire is continuing to smolder at the Sanpete Sanitary Landfill, 12 miles north of here, and county officials are continuing their efforts to put it out.

So far the county's efforts at control have been ineffective. "We don't want to put our men and equipment at undue risk," Commissioner Robert Bessey said.The fire, he explained, offers no threat to property in the landfill area but is in violation of the Clean Air Act since it was discovered more than a month ago.

The fire apparently resulted from embers in building debris that had been brought to the landfill for disposal. The debris was buried, but apparently continued to smolder before it finally erupted, Bessey said.

A second attempt was made, with similar results, before the county was finally able to isolate the fire in a 20-foot trench that has been filled with dirt and compacted.

From the trench, a thin stream of smoke continues to rise and hot spots continue to linger under the surface.

For county government, the first fire at the Sanpete Sanitary Landfill is a huge embarrassment. It was established two years ago to get Sanpete in compliance with state and federal regulations by eliminating the town dumps that had been the frequent sites of fires.