Labor Day fire at recycle center

| 04 Sep 2012 | 03:16

— Fire companies from throughout West Milford, as well as from Ringwood, Oakland, Pine Island and Tuxedo Park, N.Y., were called Monday to put out a fire at the mulch pile at the West Milford Recycle Center.
One firefighter from Greenwood Forest Company suffered a minor injury to his hand. He was treated at the scene.
The call came in at 8:15 a.m. by West Milord Mayor Bettina Bieri who was heading to the animal shelter. She said she saw what she thought was fog, but when she got out of her car she smelled the smoke and made the call.
According to West Milford Fire Commissioner Ed Steines, another smaller fire was extinguished on Sunday in another area of the pile. The cause, according to Steines, was spontaneous combustion.
He explained that compost reaches high temperatures and the danger is there for a fire if the pile is left to sit too long without being turned and watered. Combine that with low humidity and hot temperatures, and you've got perfect conditions for a fire.
This part of the recycle center is run privately. Steines said no charges have been filed and the mulch was being moved and stirred Tuesday morning. These were the first incidents of fire at the pile, according to Steines.
The fire was under control by 11:30 a.m.

- Photos by Don Webb
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