Volcano-like fire lights up the sky at Monmouth County Recycling Plant

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It’s one of the biggest fears for anyone who lives near a business that stocks large mulch piles or flammable recycling products that sit out in the sun. It’s why residents of Howell Township are fighting tooth and nail to prevent the building of a similar facility on Randolph Road.

On Thursday residents in surrounding neighborhoods saw firsthand why nobody wants a recycling center in their backyard. Mulch piles caught fire inside the Mazza Recycling Services plant sending hot, burning embers into the dry air, landing in nearby neighborhoods.

It hasn’t rained in weeks in New Jersey and the fire risk extremely high. Making matters worse, there was not enough water initially to fight the fire.

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According to Wayside Fire Department, District 36 was dispatched to Mazza’s Recycling Plant for an approximant 500’ x 500’ pile of mulch that was burning creating several calls of service for fire/smoke in the area.


Firefighters responded and arrived to find a rapidly growing brush fire that was spreading throughout the property line and on to nearby properties. As a result of spreading ambers from the fire, additional spot fires had started outside of the property posing a threat to nearby residences with additional several acres of brush burning.

Due to the quick fire spread and windy conditions, the chief on scene activated the Monmouth County Tanker Task Force and requested additional resources from New Jersey Forest Service with the assistance of the Monmouth County Fire Marshal’s Office Coordinators and Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office Field Comm 2.

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Ultimately, the Tanker Task Force responded and created a relay for a drafting pool in which two fill stations were established, one on-site and one off-site each manned by an Engine crew, for units operating on location.

Additionally, a Structural Protection Task Force of 3 engines and 5 brush trucks with various NJFFS equipment was established and relocated to the exposure residences that were in in direction of the nearby fire spread. After nearly 7 hours on location and coordinating with all agencies involved, the fire was determined to be contained and extinguished preventing further fire spread. Chief 2-66 had command of the incident which is under investigation by Tinton Falls Fire Marshal’s Office.

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Photos by Wayside Fire Department