Huge Mulch Pile Fire Extinguished in Prince George's County

A huge mulch fire in Upper Marlboro, Md., was finally extinguished Thursday morning after it erupted into dramatic flames Wednesday night.

The fire at Ritchie's Landfill in the 2000 block of Ritchie Marlboro Road was in a rural area dotted by industrial sites and did not threaten any structures, but shifting winds and water supply issues made it difficult to extinguish.

More than 150 firefighters battled the blaze Wednesday night.

Fire department spokesman Mark Brady said wind gusts of up to 30 mph spread embers to nearby brush. The wind whipped the flames and blew smoke throughout the area.

Brady said the effort was complicated by the lack of water in the remote spot. He says tanker trucks were called in from area airports and military bases, but they had to refill at a hydrant two miles away.

A foam unit was dispatched from Joint Base Andrews, and more were requested from Fairfax County and an airport.

The mulch pile had been 300 feet tall and 100 feet long before it caught fire, Stone reported.

The cause of the fire is unknown, but sometimes mulch has been known to spontaneously combust.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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