Hot spots still flaring up as MW Horticulture fire marks one week

Published: April 16, 2022 5:43 PM EDT
Updated: April 16, 2022 7:30 PM EDT

Flames and hot spots are still flaring up at MW horticulture. It is day seven of this fire, and there are still crews on scene.

But, for those who live near the recycling facility, the smoke, and its smell are getting old.

A mulch fire that started last Saturday is contained, but you can still see smoky spots. At this point, fire crews say it is simply a watch and wait game, and they’ll continue to monitor the area.

Even though crews have a handle pf the fire itself, smoke can be seen rising into the sky from Michael G. Rippe Parkway. This is as small hot spots continue to smolder.

Alex McLellan is the public information officer for San Carlos Park Fire. “Today, we have one aerial apparatus and one engine with three firefighters on scene. So, we’ve been able to step back the amount of personnel we have out there. We have also made access to the fire’s interior using an unmanned monitor,” said McLellan.

So far, approximately 63,000 gallons of water are being used per hour for fire operations.

Brent and Susan Addison live in the Briarcliff area off of Michael G. Rippe Parkway. “The smell is really heavy. All of us in our family have been just sniffling a lot lately, the extra coughing,” Susan said.

They say it’s difficult to believe this is still an issue after all these years. “It’s just, you know, the smoky haze, the smell, the, you know, and then, of course, the fear all the time wondering if that little sparks going to come across again,” said Susan.

“Smoldering fires obviously produce more smoke than a hot, clean-burning fire. So, you know, the smoke can affect a vast area or, you know, a very small area depending on weather conditions depending on how the fires burning today,” McLellan said.

The Department of Environmental Protection says MW Horticulture isn’t allowed to operate. And the owners will battle DEP in court.

The co-owner of MW Horticulture released a statement via Facebook regarding the fires and continuing operations. It said in part:

We have made some mistakes. We are not saying we aren’t to blame but we provide a much-needed service to the entire community. Those that hate us are probably using our services inadvertently. Those that hate us don’t know the facts.

You can read the full statement by following this link.