SAN CARLOS PARK, Fla. — Crews are still manning a mulch fire that sparked over the weekend at the MW Horticulture recycling plant off US-41.
The now-decimated pile of organic material is still smoldering and less than 30% contained as of 11:00 a.m. Monday. It is the second such fire at the plant in one week's time.
Florida Forest Service has recommended letting a portion of the fire burn, which they believe will lessen the smokey conditions in the immediate area.
A firefighting helicopter has been ordered to assist with monitoring and suppressing the fire.
"We are requesting a helicopter to help us access those interior piles that our apparatus can’t access because MW has mismanaged the distance between their piles," said Alexis McLellan with the San Carlos Fire Rescue.
San Carlos Fire is working with the Department of Transportation to clear culverts in the area in order to run fire hoses under roadways. They say this will help to allow businesses to access their properties.
Firefighters arrived at the scene just before 10 a.m. Sunday with six brush trucks, three engines, three ladder trucks, and the Incident Management Team.
According to the report, the fire jumped Old 41 which caused a ¼ acre brush fire. Florida Forest Service is controlling the fire.
One man was treated for injuries, and is thought to be the only injury connected to the fire. Two structures were at one point threatened but officials believe they have mitigated that risk.
The fire marshal backs up local fire officials' claims the cause of the fire was said to be combustion caused by mismanagement of the mulch piles.
This area has had trouble in the past with fires, one as recent as April 5, according to previous reporting. We've also learned one of the owners was cited seven weeks ago for contracting without a proper license.