WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Sedgwick County Fire District 1 (SCFD1) determined the cause of the Evergreen Recycling fire to be spontaneous combustion.
“The only cause that could not be ruled out was spontaneous ignition,” said the SCFD1. “Which occurs when low ignition temperature materials (like wood, wood chips and mulch) self-heat and auto-ignite.”
Fire investigators spoke with dozens of people and watched hours of video to determine where the fire started.
“The fire started at the southeast corner of the most northern pile of wood debris,” the SCFD1 said.
The fire burned for over seven days.
The SCFD1 says firefighters were able to leave the scene for good on Tuesday, Nov. 8, after fighting the fire since the evening of Sunday, Oct. 30.
“The owner and employees of Evergreen Recycling played a critical role in helping to control the fire and its eventual extinguishment,” said the SCFD1.
The estimated loss of Evergreen Recycling’s raw wood products is $1,000,000.
The SCFD1 says they are still compiling information to estimate the cost associated with extinguishing the fire.
To help prevent or more quickly mitigate any future fire events, the Fire Prevention Division of the SCFD1 will be working with Evergreen Recycling to make modifications to combustible material pile sizes, firebreaks, water supply and other preventive measures.