Firefighting

Arizona Firefighters Contain Large Mulch Fire

A large mulch fire that injured one firefighter in southwest Phoenix (AZ) is now contained, reports azcentral.com.
One firefighter was taken to the hospital for heat-related injuries while battling the fire that began around 4:40 p.m.

A piece of heavy equipment started the large fire on top of a mulch pile about 50 to 60-feet high at Southwest Forest Products.
Phoenix fire spokesman Jonathan Jacobs estimated the fire to be about 15 acres and said it ignited when workers were using a front loader to move the mulch around.

Jacobs said it spread to some junk in the area that contains debris including old tires. He said it would take crews late into the night to put it out.

Jacobs said the approximately 60 firefighters face several challenges.

He said the fire is in a hard-to-access area and they’ve had to lay thousands of feet of hose through a junk yard he called “gigantic.” It’s also near a rail yard which could have dangerous chemicals.

The material burning, which is bark and chopped up foliage, is also extremely stubborn fuel when battling a fire.
The extreme temperatures, which were about 114 degrees according to 12 News, were making conditions harsher than usual for the crew members.

The fire is in the same area of Phoenix where another mulch fire claimed the life of Phoenix firefighter Brad Harper. Jacobs said Friday’s fire was not burning on the same property, however.

Harper, 23, died May 19 of injuries he suffered while working with crews battling a first-alarm mulch fire in south Phoenix.

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