An unusual fire smolders in Spanish Springs

Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 6:41 PM PDT
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SPANISH SPRINGS, Nev. (KOLO) - A fire has been burning in the far north of Spanish Springs Valley for the past two days, alarming residents and causing the county health district to issue an air quality advisory.

Smoke from the fire had dissipated somewhat by midday Wednesday. In fact, from a few miles away it was hard to pick out. But these days any sight or smell of smoke is bound to set off alarms. so, people have been calling to report it.

In fact, it was such a call that brought Truckee Meadows Fire crews here early Tuesday morning. They found significant flames, but otherwise, it was, hardly what they usually find on such calls.

The fire was burning in a compost pile at a landscaping supply company’s lot. This is where they turn organic material--lawn clippings, tree trimmings, waste wood into rich organic compost.

Actually, they don’t. nature does. pile it up, turn it over occasionally, put some water and sunlight on it, and gradually it decomposes. As it does, it generates heat. usually not a problem, but our high temperatures and an equipment breakdown, accelerated the process and heat became flames.

Not your typical fire and putting it out isn’t easy.

“It’s just a matter of working your way into it, spread it out, put some water on it, and continue to spread it out until that fire is completely out.,” says Truckee Meadows Fire spokesman Adam Mayberry.

But each time it’s turned over, oxygen hits the embers, more water leads to more smoke. It’s a laborious process and it’s going to take some time.

The good news is it’s smoldering in the middle of an old gravel pit and getting constant attention and lots of water--20 thousand gallons so far. so, it’s posing no danger and going nowhere.

“So our residents in Spanish Springs can expect smoke for the next several days,” says Mayberry, “and we encourage patience and to not call 9-1-1 and know that there is no danger from this controlled fire.”

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