RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — For the fifth straight day, smoke is filling the air in North Raleigh as a large, unplanned mulch fire has been burning at a Wake County recycling plant since Friday.
The fire started early Friday morning at Wall Recycling, and a representative of the company said they hope to have the fire out within 24 hours, but some neighbors say they’re tired of problems from the blaze.
Over the weekend, the fire was burning and smoke filled the air around the Wall Recycling landfill on Gresham Lake Road beside Interstate 540.
Raleigh fire officials said Tuesday afternoon the fire was not planned in advance and it is not a “controlled burn” with a permit. At least the first several hours of the fire were out of control, according to Raleigh fire reports.
A fire department incident report classifies the fire as unintentional and notes that several fires have occurred in the mulch yard over the past year.
Neighbors say they’re tired of dealing with the smoke and ash.
“Every few months we get a big bonfire going down there and people who have respiratory problems they can’t stand it can’t stand outside have their windows open things like that and even people who don’t have it it’s hard to breathe,” said one man named Buddy.
A representative of Wall Recycling — who refused to give his name — said the company is doing everything possible to get the fire out.
A representative of the North Carolina Division of Air Quality says the company does not have a permit for the current fire. The company does have a permit to use a certain type of incinerator at the site.
The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality also said Tuesday in a statement to CBS 17: “The Division of Waste Management and the Division of Air Quality are working together to investigate and take appropriate action.”
While the fire is not a controlled burn, fire officials said the blaze is “contained.”
The Division of Air Quality is warning people sensitive to smoke to limit time outdoors if they see or smell smoke.
The Wake County Fire Marshals office says the fire appears to be accidental and it is working with the City of Raleigh and other agencies to try to determine exactly why the fire started and prevent something like this from happening again.
According to the Raleigh fire department, the facility was inspected within the past few months. There was one fire extinguisher violation which was corrected.
Tuesday, the North Carolina Division of Air Quality released another statement about the fire:
”The current priority of the Division of Waste Management is working with the facility to make sure the fire is extinguished as soon as possible. Afterward, we will investigate to try and determine the cause of the fire, and if the fire violated any condition of the facility’s landfill or treatment and processing permits (issued by the Division of Waste Management).”Shawn Taylor, spokesman for Division of Air Quality, DEQ