Centralia, Pennsylvania was nearly entirely evacuated following a coal mine fire, burning beneath the town since 1962.
Centralia’s fire started in 1962, when residents turned an old strip mine into a dump, and setting the rubbish alight. The fire spread through an unsealed opening to the underground coal mines, igniting a seam of coal, and the fire has been burning to this day.
In 1992, Pennsylvania condemned the town and claimed it under eminent domain in an attempt for force the remaining residents out. Some sued, and were allowed to stay.
A section of State Route 61 was abandoned after it began to buckle and crumble from the underground fire.
The fire stretches 12km, and burns underneath an area of 15 square kilometres, 300 feet below ground, authorities say the fire could burn for another 250 years.
The town now mostly attracts tourists who visit an abandoned highway, where many profanities and obscene pictures are spray painted onto it, over time the highway has earned the nickname Graffiti Highway.
Centralia is rumored to have inspired Silent Hill.
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