SAN ANTONIO -- After burning for nearly 24 hours, fire officials said on Tuesday afternoon that the New Earth compost fire would be completely out by 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Fire fighters managed to tame the blaze in the 7800 block of I-10 East near Woodlake Parkway much earlier than predicted thanks to splitting the large compost pile into three different piles. This is the same method used to fight the Helotes mulch fire from several years ago.
The exact cause of the fire is still unknown at this time, but there is talk a mechanical problem may have sparked the fire that started Monday at a facility that takes in brush and yard waste to create soils and mulches to sell to the public.
Commuters along I-10, traveling in and out of the city, experienced a smoky Tuesday morning commute.
The White family who lives in a nearby neighborhood said they weren't going to let the blaze keep them from sending their children to a summer golf camp.
"It smelled like you were around a lot of people smoking, " Miss White said.
Dr. Vincent Nathan, Metro Health Director of Environmental Safety, said in a written statement: "We do not expect there will be a need for additional alerts." The statement added that no elevated readings in fine particulates were produced from the compost fire. People with asthma and other respiratory problems are still urged to remain indoors with the windows closed.
In the meantime, SAFD said they will remain on site Tuesday evening to watch for any potential hot spots.