Friday, April 13, 2012

Two-Alarm Fire In Central Park Compost Facility

Four hours after a fire broke out at The Mount, Central Park's main composting operation on a hill near 102nd Street on the East side. (Photos:© Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on image to enlarge.

Via NBC New York


A two-alarm fire broke out today around two-fifteen at Central Park's main compost facility, according to fire officials at the scene today. The fire was at 102nd Street on the East side of the park near the drive, above the Conservatory Gardens. The area is a combination of mulch, compost and large logs from Hurricane Irene.

More than 100 fire fighters responded FDNY Battalion Chief Jim Ginty said while surveying the smoldering timbers. He estimated the flames got as high as twenty feet.

The cause was undetermined but Chief Ginty said the dry weather most likely contributed to the condition. He said they would be monitoring the area for the next twenty-four hours. He said the fire department has been called to the area but didn't remember a fire as large as this before.

The fire could be smelled from two blocks away.

According to FDNY officials they had 25 units and over 100 firefighters on the scene operating and no injuries, and no buildings were impacted.

Central Park Conservancy head Doug Blonsky, and Neil Calvanese - vice president for operations were at the scene. Numerous Conservancy workers were seen clearing paths to allow large amounts of water which was running down the hill towards the Conservatory Gardens be diverted along the parameter to drain.

According to the Conservancy more than 3,000 cubic yards of leaves are taken to the Mount to be broken down into compost anually. Another 5,000 cubic yards of wood mulch is generated from tree and shrub clippings. The rich compost is recycled and returned to the Park’s landscapes, used year-round in all of the Conservancy’s planting and horticultural projects.

— Geoffrey Croft

Central Park's Composting Operation

The Mount composting area under normal operating conditions. (Photo: Central Park Conservancy)

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