Apex fire crews extinguish mulch fire

January 13, 2008 8:54:30 PM PST
Thick smoke hovered above East Williams Street at Blyth Contractors Company in Apex, Sunday afternoon.

At the company, a fire broke out in a mulch pile the size of a football field. About a third of the area caught fire.

Crews extinguished the flames, but are still battling a lot of smoke and hot spots. Officials say the fire could spark again in the next couple of days.

"Our plan is in three parts. The first part is complete. We've cut two fire breaks through the full pile. We've confined the fire to one end and now what we're trying to do is get more heavy equipment in here and separate that part," Apex Fire Chief Mark Haraway said. "As we separate it we'll put class a foam on it which is a penetrating foam that will cut fire down and knock down on any hot spots.

Haraway told Eyewitness News that the fire probably started as a result of the mulch naturally decomposing.

Officials say it is not uncommon, similar to leaves in a pile decomposing. However, they are concerned about dry conditions and strong winds reigniting the debris.

This entire area is surrounded by a wooded area that is dry and we don't want any embers to get out there and create a woods fire on top of this. So we're trying to care of it tonight ahead of the winds," Haraway said.

There are no residential homes surrounding the area, so officials are not ordering evacuations.

"We really don't have to worry about any evacuations, the winds dissipate the smoke pretty good," Haraway said.


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