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NORTH FAYETTE (KDKA) – Crews battled a large mulch fire in North Fayette Township Wednesday morning.

According to officials, the fire started at Wood Waste Recycling along Kelso Road just south of Route 22.

Crews were first called out to the location around 3:30 a.m. and were still there as of 7 a.m. The flames were out by 9 a.m., but there was still heavy smoke in the area.

Flames could be seen from miles away.

“As we were working last night, you could just see all this big orange glow and all this smoke was just roaring out of there. I knew something was going on fire pretty good,” Cliff Hutchison said.

Huge plumes of smoke stretched across the sky. Firefighters worked quickly to put out the flames. They had to refill large tanker trucks several times to take more water to the pile.

“They got a lot of people going up the highway. They’re trying to contain it,” Hutchison said. “I wish I could help, but I’m sure they got plenty of the right people in the right spots.”

People who work nearby say this isn’t the first time there’s been a mulch fire here, but this is the largest. Amazed by the size of the fire and flames, Hutchison stayed nearby to watch.

“I did see a bulldozer kinda going around the other side. They do have an excavator on the other side trying to dig out and open it up. There’s firefighters on this side that I can see, that’s shooting water directly in on it in case any flames shoot up higher,” Hutchison said.

Any residents with concerns should contact the Department of Environmental Protection.

One lane of Route 22 was closed for a brief period of time as crews moved equipment to and from the fire scene. That lane restriction has since been lifted.

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