Mulch fire on Yanchep Beach Rd

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Yanchep firefighters were called to put out a mulch fire opposite Frigate Cres. Picture: Anita McInnes

YANCHEP Fire and Rescue Service volunteers put out a fire in a pile of mulch opposite the Yanchep Beach Rd and Frigate Cres intersection, on Friday, July 31.

The Yanchep fire trucks were at the site more than 30 minutes spraying water on the mulch, which was placed in a pile on a strip of public open space between Yanchep Beach Rd and Mullins Way.

Firefighters at the scene said they were often called to mulch fires but there had been some talk about children seen playing in the area before the fire was reported.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services website said the department attends more than 500 mulch fires a year.

Most mulch fires are caused by discarded cigarettes under hot, dry conditions — smouldering for extended periods along roadsides, particularly at traffic lights,’’ the website said.

“Mulch fires are likely to occur after long periods without rain, generally between December and April, when the moisture content is low (less than 7 per cent),  when temperatures are high (above 30°C) and when the relative humidity is low (below 30 per cent).

“Local governments and other agencies use mulches, such as green waste, for

landscaping verges and median strips to control weeds, prevent erosion and

conserve water.

“The type of mulch affects how easily a fire can start.

Fine shredded and aerated mulches catch fire more easily than coarse and compacted mulches.

“Coarse woodchip mulches are recommended as they are harder to ignite.”