Contact US

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

Mulch Fire

Mulch Fire

Mulch Fire

Hi All,

I'm not finding the reading material I'm looking for online so I was hoping someone here could shed some light on a situation. During a grubbing project completed January 2023, mulch piles were kept below the maximum height (~50') and the advised Length and Width(I forget these dimensions). What would cause this mulch pile to (seemingly) spontaneously ignite 10 months later? Is that not very surprising to someone more knowledgeable on the subject?

Disclaimer: this was caught and put out quickly. it was isolated to an area with no other flammable sources nearby.


RE: Mulch Fire

50 feet is way too high and it should have been expected.

RE: Mulch Fire

Compost and mulch piles can reach internal temperatures in excess of 150 degrees F. Besides, it naturally produces methane, which is slightly flammable. Facilities that handle these have to turn the material over on a regular basis.

RE: Mulch Fire

Thanks CarlB. I was looking for a code to reference.

As far as the pile igniting 10 months later, it sounds like we need to turn over and manipulate the pile at some frequency. Thanks for the recommendation TigerGuy.

RE: Mulch Fire

Turning it over would be a good idea. A local farmer's hay barn went up a couple years ago - seems the joists supporting some hay collapsed and he didn't pull it out. The reduced airflow let the heat build up and poof.

RE: Mulch Fire

I would guess the fire occurred due to maintenance issues (e.g., aeration (turning over the pile), moisture content, temperature monitoring, C to N mixture ratios).

Hay bales can spontaneously combust if baled when wet/saturated. If bailed wet, the bales start to decompose and generate heat. I married into a farming family and they'd even salt the bales if they thought they were too wet due to the dew (especially for the last bales in the season in fall).

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login


Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close