Mulch Fires: What Should The Label Say?

Mulch has become a popular decorative part of many suburban landscapes. It is sold in a variety of colors and textures. Yet, there seems to be an increasing number of fires in which the first ignited
item is actually the mulch.

As investigators, we have seen “mulch” fires in New York, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. There are probably “mulch stories” around the country but most being handled as a routine matter in which little
damage results. In Salisbury Maryland city firefighters responded and used water to quell what amounted to a flower bed burning covered with red mulch. The problem was that there was a building
sitting along the bed of mulch with a combustible exterior. If not extinguished quickly a mulch fire can escalate to a major event from a troublesome small fire…..read more

Many thanks to the reference for this article, written and released by the Vermont Chapter: International Association of Arson Investigators.

Thomas Williams and Michael Lane. “MULCH FIRES-WHAT SHOULD THE LABEL SAY.” The Vermont Chapter: International Association of Arson Investigators Website, 2013. Accessed October 8th 2013 www.vtiaai.org/webpages/home/index.aspx

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NEW Regulation On Mulch Safety – 527 CMR 17

The new regulation, 527 CMR 17, took effect last September and prohibits the new application of mulch within 18” around combustible exteriors of buildings, such as wood or vinyl but not brick or

concrete. Residential buildings with six units or less are exempted from this regulation, but all homeowners may also wish to adopt these safety practices. The regulation applies to all other

buildings including commercial properties…..read more

Many thanks to the reference for this article, written and released by the Office of the State Fire Marshal – Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Office of the State Fire Marshal. “Preventing Mulch Fires.” The Massachusetts Government Website, February 2013. Accessed October 8th 2013 www.mass.gov

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Firefighters Battling large blaze in Southeast Orange County

More than 100 firefighters are battling a large blaze Sunday in Silverado, an unincorporated area of southeast Orange County, authorities said.

The fire started about 10:10 a.m. in a large mulch pile at a nursery in the 27900 block of Baker Canyon Road, said Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi.

The area is near the edge of the Cleveland National Forest…..read more

Many thanks to the reference for this article, written and released by the Los Angeles Times.

Jack Leonard. “Firefighters Battling large blaze in Southeast Orange County.” The Los Angeles Times Website, Monday, October 6, 2013. Accessed October 8th 2013 www.latimes.com

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