By Wayne Gates –
Firefighters from multiple departments spent most of two days fighting a mulch fire on Camp Run Road near Georgetown on June 5 and 6.
The mulch apparently self-combusted and sent a huge plume of smoke into the sky. The wind took the smoke over Georgetown, resulting in multiple calls to the fire department and village office.
The fire was first reported around 9 p.m. on Tuesday June 5, with firefighters leaving briefly and then returning to the scene until 10:30 p.m. on June 6.
The fire happened at Bzak Landscaping, where mulch is stored.
“When we got there, there were multiple mulch piles putting off smoke and heat. These are commercial mulch piles which are two stories tall and hundreds of feet long,” said Georgetown Village Administrator Art Owens.
“This time of year, they are known to self-combust because they are moist in the middle and the warmth causes a chain reaction and they self-ignite.”
Owens said that Bzak and the county both brought heavy equipment in to help tear the mulch piles apart to expose the fire inside.
As of press time on June 7, Owens said that a small fire still remained in one pile of mulch and that Bzak was bringing in heavy equipment to continue to break up the mulch and stop the combustion process.
Owens said that a long term fire scene like this one puts a strain on a volunteer fire department.
“We had a few volunteers on Wednesday that missed their full-time jobs because they were still fighting the fire,” Owens said. “We are certainly glad that we have them.
Georgetown, Mt. Orab, Ripley, Sardinia, Hamersville, Russellville, Bethel-Tate and Felicity Fire Departments all participated in fighting the fire.