The Latest: Indiana Guard stop water drops on mulch fire
MITCHELL, Ind. (AP) — The Latest on a large mulch fire at a plant in southern Indiana (all times local):
The Indiana Air National Guard has discontinued water drops on a large mulch fire burning in southern Indiana because high winds are dispersing the water.
The state Department of Homeland Security said Friday afternoon that crews have begun using heavy equipment to move the mulch into a wetland to help extinguish the fire.
The agency says smoke from the fire remains thick and some residents who were evacuated from the immediate area about 75 miles (120 kilometers) southwest of Indianapolis likely will be relocated to a shelter.
It says the fire at the Fibertech plant in Mitchell is expected to burn in spots for a few days.
Officials say more than 50 people have sought treatment at emergency rooms since Thursday because of smoke-related complaints.
Health officials say dozens of people have sought treatment for smoke-related issues due to a large mulch fire burning in southern Indiana.
Indiana University Health officials say two hospitals have seen a rise in emergency department visits since Thursday due to the fire at the Fibertech plant in Mitchell.
Health workers at IU Health Bedford Hospital saw about 49 people with smoke-related issues, including 36 who were discharged. The IU Health Paoli Hospital saw three patients because of the fire. WXIN-TV reports several firefighters were among those treated.
Firefighters remain at the scene Friday. Lawrence County Sheriff Mike Branham says smoke from the fire could be an issue for days.
Motorists have been advised to avoid the area about 75 miles (120 kilometers) southwest of Indianapolis.
Smoke from a large mulch fire burning in southern Indiana has forced schools to close and authorities to urge people to stay indoors as crews worked to extinguish the blaze.
Firefighting crews from across the area responded Thursday to the fire at the Fibertech plant in Mitchell that produces mulch. No injuries were reported, but Lawrence County officials advised area residents to stay inside their homes.
Firefighters remain at the scene Friday morning. Motorists have been advised to avoid the area about 75 miles (120 kilometers) southwest of Indianapolis.
Mitchell Community Schools posted a statement online saying classes are canceled Friday due to the smoke and employees have been told not to report to work. The North Lawrence Community Schools district has also shut down schools due to the fire.