Massive mulch fire closes Route 76 north of Belvidere

May 18, 2012

A massive mulch fire is causing headaches for travelers and residents in northern Boone County. 

The smoky fire started around noon in piles of mulch on property owned by Schumacher Landscaping in Poplar Grove. Smoke can be seen for miles.

Firefighters have been battling the smoldering fire all afternoon. Portions of Highway 76 near Woodstock Road have been closed on and off during the efforts to control the fire. People are advised to stay away from the area if they can: otherwise, expect delays and detours.

WNIJ Managing Editor Victor Yehling went to the site of the fire Friday afternoon and described the smoldering bank of mulch as being as tall as a one-story house and more than 100 feet long, with white smoke pouring from the entire length.

Thanks to listener Steve Rapp for the photos of the fire.  Additional photos by WNIJ's Victor Yehling.