Environment

Mulch fire causes smoky, smelly skies in Southwest Valley

Fire is contained but could burn for days, officials say

Posted 9/9/20

Rural Metro Fire crews are monitoring a mulch fire at a landscaping facility near Dysart Road and Butler Avenue in unincorporated Glendale that could burn for several days.

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Environment

Mulch fire causes smoky, smelly skies in Southwest Valley

Fire is contained but could burn for days, officials say

Posted

Rural Metro Fire crews are monitoring a mulch fire at a landscaping facility near Dysart Road and Butler Avenue in unincorporated Glendale that could burn for several days.

Plumes of smoke could be seen from as far away as  Loop 303 on Wednesday, and residents throughout the Southwest Valley reported hazy skies and a pungent smell.

Rural Metro Fire Public Information Officer Shawn Gilleland said Wednesday, Sept. 9 that engine crews from Station 833 in Waddell and Station 837 in Litchfield Park were called to the site at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday and spent the night fighting the fire with assistance from Phoenix and Buckeye fire departments.  Firefighters from the city of El Mirage Fire Department also responded to the fire, city spokeswoman Amber Wakeman said via email Sept. 9.

The name of the facility near Dysart RV & Boat Storage wasn’t immediately available.

As of Wednesday morning, the blaze was contained and no structures were threatened, Mr. Gilleland said, noting most of the land surrounding the facility is agricultural.

Winds were blowing south/southwest on Wednesday, and Mr. Gilleland said residents in Litchfield Park, Goodyear and Avondale could continue to see and smell the smoke for several days.

Mulch, wood and other organic debris piled as high as two stories cover about half the 100-acre site, he said.

“That material is so thick and piled so high” it’s tough to put the fire out until it burns down enough for crews to douse it, Mr. Gilleland said. He said the facility's owner had work crews on site clearing debris and putting water on the piles.

Mulch is a combination of organic materials used in landscaping. It’s applied to the surface of soil to conserve moisture, improve fertility and reduce weed growth.

This isn’t the first time that mulch piles at the site have burned. Mr. Gilleland said fires at the site are a nearly yearly occurrence.

Kelly O’Sullivan can be reached at kosullivan@newszap.com or 760-963-1697.

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