O.C. firefighters battling mulch fire the size of a football field in Baker Canyon
Orange County firefighters are battling a fire in a giant mulch pile the size of a football field in Baker Canyon that is producing a massive plume of smoke over the surrounding area.
The fire in the pile at 27910 Baker Canyon Road was reported about 5:50 a.m. Friday, said Capt. Greg McKeown.
Firefighters are seeking to contain the fire because they fear strong winds could send embers sailing into nearby vegetation, he said.
Firefighters are calling in heavy bulldozers to move the heap of mulch so they can try to get water into the dense compost to extinguish the flames, McKeown said. The mulch is several feet deep, and without the bulldozers the fire burning deep in the compost won’t be extinguished, he said.
The cause of the fire remains unknown, he said. McKeown acknowledged it was not unheard of for massive mulch heaps to ignite from the heat generated within as the vegetation breaks down in the compost process.
-- Richard Winton