"According to a review by the Department of Interior's Office of Surface Mining Enforcement and Reclamation, more than 100 fires are burning beneath nine states, most of them in Colorado, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Utah and West Virginia. But geologists say many fires go unreported, driving the actual number of them closer to 200 across 21 states. Most have burned for years, if not decades. Pennsylvania's three dozen underground fires include America's most notorious subterranean blaze, a 48-year-old fire in Centralia, whose noxious emissions sickened residents and eventually prompted the federal government in the late 1980s and early '90s to evict homeowners and pay them a collective $40 million for what is now a virtual ghost town.
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