WATERFORD, N.Y. (March 14)—One of New York state's largest scrap tire piles caught fire March 9 and still is smoldering, according to local officials. About 750,000 tires in the Mowhawk Tire Storage Facility became engulfed by flames and produced thick, black smoke that coated nearby homes, said Lt. Thomas Japour of the Waterford Police Department. Hundreds of firefighters helped extinguish much of the fire by March 12, though the pile began to burn again on March 13, Japour said. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Mohawk Tire Storage Facility, owned by Vincent and Kathryn Williamson, has accepted scrap tires for shredding and disposal since the early 1960s and contains an estimated 8 million tires. Since 1988, when New York adopted regulations for waste tire storage, the state has assumed responsibility for the site. It spent $2.3 million in 1999 to remove more than 2 million tires, create fire lanes, install water lines and hydrants and put up fencing, according to a New York Department of Environmental Conservation spokeswoman.