The responded to four small fires within a two-and-a-half hour period Monday, Assistant Chief Brad Stio said. Three of the four were mulch fires, and one was a brush fire, he said.
Including , emergency responders in Mahwah have put out a total of seven similar small fires in a three-day period.
Shortly after 10 a.m. Monday, a pile of mulch in front of the Home Depot on Route 17 North caught fire, Stio said. “The fire was near the entrance [of the store], and Company 2 responded and had it out quickly,” he said.
Shortly after 11 a.m., another small mulch fire broke out in the Rolling Gardens development. Company 1 responded to the small fire near Franklin Turnpike, Stio said.
A brush fire broke out behind Sharp Electronics on Route 17 North at about 11:19 a.m., Stio said. A gathering of brush and trees caught fire, he said. A Company 5 mini pumper and Company 2 trucks responded to the fire.
At about 12:30 p.m., mulch in the landscaping in front of the Pilot gas station on Route 17 South caught fire. Company 2 responded to the fire. Police on the scene said the weather was to blame for all of these similar incidents throughout Mahwah.
No injuries or serious damage was caused by any of the small fires. “We are getting to them all very quickly,” Stio said.
However, to avoid mulch fires, Stio sent the following recommendations for residents and businesses in Mahwah:
- If you notice a mulch fire, report it immediately!
- Be aware of the danger. Recognize that when the weather is hot and the humidity is low, and it’s been dry for an extended time, that it is easier for a fire to start.
- If you smoke, use provided receptacles to discard your smoking material and matches – never flick them into the mulch or put ashes into the mulch. One of the most common causes of mulch and brush fires is human error.
- Provide a minimum of an 18-inch clearance between landscaping mulch beds and combustible building materials. Ensure proper clearance to electric devices, such as decorative lights, by following the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Keep landscaping mulch beds moist if possible during high fire watches like this week.
- Remember to also install smoke detectors in your home and maintain them by checking them once a month and changing the batteries twice a year at daylight savings.