Dozens treated due to smoke from southern Indiana mulch fire

Dozens of people have sought treatment for smoke-related issues due to a large mulch fire burning in southern Indiana that shut some schools Friday and prompted authorities to urge people to stay indoors.

Posted: Apr 13, 2018 4:28 PM

MITCHELL, Ind. (AP) — Dozens of people have sought treatment for smoke-related issues due to a large mulch fire burning in southern Indiana that shut some schools Friday and prompted authorities to urge people to stay indoors.

Firefighting crews from across the area responded Thursday to the fire at the Fibertech plant in Mitchell that produces mulch and wooden pallets. Lawrence County officials advised area residents to stay inside their homes as it continued to burn Friday, and state officials said about a dozen families voluntarily evacuated as a precaution.

“Visibility is limited in the area, and firefighters continue to battle the blaze and windy conditions in the area,” the Indiana Department of Homeland Security said in a midday Friday statement.

The Indiana Air National Guard began then stopped 550-gallon water drops on the blaze because high winds were dispersing the water, the agency said Friday afternoon. Crews began using heavy equipment to move the mulch to a wetland to help extinguish the fire.

Some residents were evacuated in the immediate area about 75 miles (120 kilometers) southwest of Indianapolis. They’ll likely be relocated to a shelter, as the fire is expected to burn in spots for a few more days, according to the agency.

Two hospitals have seen a rise in emergency room visits due to the fire, officials with Indiana University Health said. Health workers at IU Health Bedford Hospital saw about 49 people with smoke-related issues, including 36 who were discharged, and IU Health Paoli Hospital saw three patients.

Eight firefighters have been treated at a hospital for smoke inhalation since the fire began, but are expected to fully recover, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security said.

Mitchell Community Schools posted a statement online saying classes were 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.

Motorists have been advised to avoid the area.

Terre Haute
Partly Cloudy
22° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 14°
Robinson
Partly Cloudy
17° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 20°
Feels Like: 17°
Indianapolis/Eagle Creek
Partly Cloudy
22° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 13°
Paris
Partly Cloudy
19° wxIcon
Hi: 35° Lo: 20°
Feels Like: 19°
Mattoon/Charleston
Partly Cloudy
18° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 19°
Feels Like: 18°
Terre Haute
Partly Cloudy
22° wxIcon
Hi: 35° Lo: 20°
Feels Like: 14°
Terre Haute
Partly Cloudy
22° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 14°
Cloudy, Breezy & Cold
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

Wednesday: Becoming sunny. Breezy. High: 38°

Image

THN Shakamak

Image

West Vigo Bloomfield

Image

Loogootee Evan Memorial

Image

North Daviess Dugger Union

Image

Vincennes Rivet Evan Central

Image

Vin Lincoln Evan Mater Dei

Image

TH North Nothview

Image

Caitlyn Newton

Image

Climate change education

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1076532

Reported Deaths: 20153
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook4358889065
DuPage692851153
Will58408870
Lake53439886
Kane46063677
Winnebago26295407
Madison24398463
St. Clair22343426
McHenry21712248
Champaign15485102
Peoria15054241
Sangamon14548235
McLean13244159
Tazewell11944245
Rock Island11919303
Kankakee11488179
Kendall971578
LaSalle9478247
Macon8836179
Vermilion7538113
DeKalb749192
Adams7371117
Williamson6196116
Boone554977
Whiteside5261173
Clinton503285
Coles470380
Ogle460371
Knox4589142
Grundy438754
Effingham431169
Jackson418767
Henry401476
Marion3994112
Macoupin384994
Franklin384769
Randolph371568
Livingston364766
Monroe358770
Stephenson353274
Jefferson3435104
Morgan325989
Woodford320266
Logan309456
Montgomery305342
Lee304872
Bureau300484
Christian298673
Fayette291153
Perry267060
Iroquois259756
Fulton256949
Jersey222556
Lawrence217630
McDonough215051
Saline203053
Douglas199533
Union199332
Shelby197035
Crawford176134
Cass175131
Bond173824
Warren158644
Pike154346
Richland153644
Wayne152043
Hancock148634
Jo Daviess148524
Clark147730
Washington145225
Edgar144353
Carroll142633
Ford139049
Moultrie137428
White133430
Clay131240
Greene125742
Johnson121115
Wabash117914
Piatt117416
Mercer117229
Mason116640
De Witt114727
Cumberland108527
Jasper104015
Massac101831
Menard88010
Hamilton71717
Marshall67013
Schuyler62416
Pulaski6133
Brown61011
Stark49320
Edwards4629
Henderson45316
Calhoun4404
Alexander3897
Gallatin3884
Scott3851
Putnam3462
Hardin3038
Pope2472
Unassigned1050
Out of IL320

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 595436

Reported Deaths: 9466
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion822851311
Lake44626670
Allen32165543
Hamilton28684308
St. Joseph26917378
Elkhart24173343
Vanderburgh18856236
Tippecanoe17638125
Johnson14687289
Porter14513163
Hendricks14010242
Madison10715216
Vigo10540177
Clark10349135
Monroe9189108
Delaware8956134
LaPorte8867158
Howard7982140
Kosciusko791380
Warrick652994
Hancock646999
Bartholomew631096
Floyd6205107
Wayne5984159
Grant5874110
Dubois547175
Boone538867
Morgan524192
Henry497764
Marshall495384
Cass475362
Dearborn464545
Noble463157
Jackson417846
Shelby405680
Lawrence383876
Clinton367840
Gibson360058
DeKalb339163
Montgomery338152
Harrison333643
Knox329839
Miami312743
Steuben309343
Adams297435
Whitley297225
Wabash294947
Ripley294345
Putnam288047
Jasper285234
Huntington284959
White269138
Daviess263073
Jefferson253838
Decatur243482
Fayette242948
Greene237062
Posey234427
Wells231347
LaGrange225061
Clay219032
Scott218538
Randolph209845
Jennings193935
Sullivan189632
Spencer184319
Fountain180527
Washington179321
Starke172743
Jay163922
Fulton161130
Owen161137
Carroll153915
Orange152933
Rush151618
Perry149327
Vermillion145833
Franklin144433
Tipton129232
Parke12918
Pike114326
Blackford109222
Pulaski95337
Newton89821
Brown85931
Benton85310
Crawford7719
Martin70713
Warren6637
Switzerland6235
Union6146
Ohio4727
Unassigned0374