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8 million gallons of water used to contain fire at MW Horticulture site

San Carlos Park Fire Department remains on scene to keep fire contained
Posted at 6:42 PM, Apr 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-13 04:13:52-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — Since Sunday, the fire at MW Horticulture recycling plant off of US-41 has continued to burn. Now on a third day of fighting flare-ups and smoldering, another concern is how much water is being used to put out those mulch fires.

MORE: Sunday - fire sparks | Monday - Code violations blamed

On Monday, 5,000 gallons of water per minute was used in fighting the fire. Tuesday, San Carlos Park Fire Department said they had to cut down on the amount of water they were using so that it didn't put a bigger dent in the community's water supply.

"Lee County Utilities did ask us if we could slow our water usage so water pressure to tone it down just a bit because their tanks were getting a little bit low," said fire department spokesperson Alexis McLellan.

Since Sunday, McLellan says 8 million gallons of water has been used.

"Yesterday we were running 400,000 gallons per hour," she said. "Today we are 150,000 gallons per hour. We are trying to use as little water as possible if we can let areas of this pile burn in a safe way."

We reached out to Lee County to ask if residents should have any concerns about water pressure in the area. We were told that residents should not have any concerns about water.

One concern that does remain present for firefighters is consistent dry conditions and changing winds.

"We are always worried about the wind picking up embers," said McLellan. "We had that happen on Sunday; fortunately right now the fire is contained to the MW property."

Firefighters remind residents to keep their windows closed to protect them from incoming smoke.

When reaching out to MW Horticulture for comment on the ongoing fire, Denise Houghtalins said, "Thank you for your request. Our attorney has advised us to state we have no comment at this time."