We’ve all heard the red flag fire warnings that have been out the last few days. Don’t make a campfire; don’t burn trash; make sure your cigarette has been extinguished before disposing of it.
The latter is particularly important if you’re around landscaped areas with mulch. Keep in mind that mulch is shredded woood, not dirt. It burns!
We’ve seen the results of two mulch fires at properties we maintain in the last couple weeks. The first occurred at a Leesburg-area apartment complex and did a couple thousand dollars worth of damage to plants. The most recent mulch fire incident occurred at Washington Dulles International Airport and destroyed 25-30 large shrubs. Who started the fire is unknown in both cases, but improperly disposed of cigarettes are believed to have touched off the blazes.
So keep in mind that rainfall is currently about four inches below normal for 2012, and that the wind we’ve been experiencing lately significantly adds to fire danger when conditions are dry. Be careful around wooded areas, pastures and your mulch beds!