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It's hot down here...
Old 01-12-2007, 10:48 PM   #1
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It's hot down here...

As if the scorpions, rattlesnakes and rednecks weren't enough...

Big Mulch Fire Riles Small Texas Town


(AP) The enormous mulch pile in this small town had drawn a few grumbles from neighbors before. But it was not until it caught fire on Christmas that the sparks really began to fly.

The volcano-like mountain of branches and wood chips for use in landscaping has been smoldering ever since, spreading smoke so thick that people in this community just outside San Antonio wake up some mornings in a fog, unable to see past their front doors.


...The pile of mulch, which has been sitting in an open field for more than a decade, is about 400 feet long, 225 feet wide and 70 feet tall in the middle. It is now a vast, smoking landscape, with flames shooting up periodically from the blackened expanse, in what looks like a scene from the latest "Star Wars" movie.

The state hired a contractor for about $1.75 million to put out the blaze, and its crews arrived Tuesday to begin aggressively fighting the fire. But it is expected to take another two weeks to extinguish it.

This is just a couple of miles from my daughter and 3 grandkids. If the wind is from the wrong direction, it's bad. We drove by there tonight on our way home from dinner and it looked like something from a movie set. The city has run huge pipes from all surrounding water hydrants to furnish millions of gallons to the water cannons set up to attack the fire starting tomorrow. The huge pile glows and sparks at night, like a smoldering volcano. This thing is only a few hundred yards from a 2000+ population high school and a huge subdivision.

No place but Texas...

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Re: It's hot down here...
Old 01-12-2007, 11:54 PM   #2
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Re: It's hot down here...

A big pile of burning compost, isn't that your usual description for Texas?

Hope that gets put out soon, fires near our house wrecked my step-mom for weeks with her lung issues and all that smoke.
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Re: It's hot down here...
Old 01-13-2007, 09:37 AM   #3
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Re: It's hot down here...

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
As if the scorpions, rattlesnakes and rednecks weren't enough...

Big Mulch Fire Riles Small Texas Town
How ironic that a state known for its expertise with oil rig fires is getting its butt kicked by a bunch of decaying wood. Heck, Red Adair would've extinguished it by just spitting on it.

I wonder if they're aware that water is one of the necessary components for the decomposition that's generating the heat that's supporting the fire. I wonder if they're cutting the pile into smaller chunks and spreading it out-- as you're supposed to do with mulch before it ignites!

Our local compost company, Hawaii Earth Products, is actually required to monitor the temp of their compost piles and keep them under 180 degrees F.
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Re: It's hot down here...
Old 01-13-2007, 09:55 AM   #4
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Re: It's hot down here...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
How ironic that a state known for its expertise with oil rig fires is getting its butt kicked by a bunch of decaying wood. Heck, Red Adair would've extinguished it by just spitting on it.
Red woulda used dynamite...then peed on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
I wonder if they're cutting the pile into smaller chunks and spreading it out-- as you're supposed to do with mulch before it ignites!
Yup, that's exactly what they are doing.

The word is this was deliberately set...arson. It started around midnight on Christmas, a day after a nice rain. My money is on a disgruntled neighbor, sick of seeing the eyesore outside his front window.

The pile had been a sore spot for years with a growing population of nearby subdivisions constantly complaining to the city, county and state. Zumwalt (the owner, who coincidently owns the ranch adjoining our subdivision) was supposedly always in compliance with required regulations. However, local "Iwitless News" showed a document from the state allowing him to have a maximum of 75,000 cubic yards of "mulch", actually a huge pile of dead trees, brush and dirt. Seems as if the actual size turns out to be closer to 150,000 cubic yards. Oh yeah, and a county report from last year states the "mulch" is 75% dirt and cannot burn.

Can you say "lawsuits"...?

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Re: It's hot down here...
Old 01-13-2007, 10:43 AM   #5
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Re: It's hot down here...

Quote:
Red woulda used dynamite...then peed on it.
I was going to say that!
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