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Officials Leave Brush Fire to Burn Out

North Haven's Borelli Farm owners will bring in excavators to dismantle pile.

Several area fire departments–including , and –were dispatched to a on April 10. Though the fire is still burning, the fire departments have left the scene.

"We're still monitoring the situation and the pile has not changed," said North Branford . "It's still burning significantly, but right now, the property owner has been told to get excavators and operators and tear the pile apart."

Once the excavators come in to take apart the pile–which is made up of storm damage debris like stumps, leaves, branches, etc.–the fire department will return to extinguish any other threats. 

North Branford supplied water from a nearby pond to the North Haven engine, which pumped it onto the pile. About 25 North Branford volunteer firefighters were on the scene.

Seward said, because the brush pile is made up of only organic materials, the smoke is more of a nuisance than a hazard. A DEEP representative also assessed the scene.

"If someone has a preexisting respiratory problem, it [the smoke] could affect them," said . "If people choose to use a clothesline or have open windows, they will also be affected by the smell of smoke."

The towns responded to the fire as part of the written mutual aid agreements with surrounding towns. The departments that responded have drilled together in the past.

"It goes without saying that no matter where the incident is, we always depend on each other without hesitiation," said Seward. "Something like this really demonstrates the cooperation between departments. The training we've done becomes invaluable in a situation like this because the implentation has to be very smooth." 

North Havener April 20, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Debris from the two major storms of last year ended up on the Borrelli Farm? What sort of ongoing agreement does Mike Freda have with the Borrelli Farm owners? This Compost Pile turned into a major issue and Town Politics is likely involved in how this fire burning for about a week, now, is being addressed. If Mike Freda claims the Town can profit from a compost pile as this one, then I'm sure the Borrelli Farm owners are in this to PROFIT from it, too.
North Havener April 20, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Speaking of Blight Property Issues Mike Freda, why did you allow debris from the 2 storms of last year to be dumped on the Borrelli Farm creating AN EYESORE? Mike Freda doesn't know what an eyesore issue is, because he played a major role in creating AN EYESORE on the Borrelli Farm several stories tall. I call it "Freda's Compost Pile" knowing when I drive by and see it, it reminds me of things he wants to grab credit from, like this. Everything Freda does is many times bigger than he is. It reminds us of all his other FAILURES and his idea for the Town to profit from it, is going up in smoke, too. Now that it's burning, Mike Freda isn't talking about this matter to the public? Maybe residents need to contact the TV media to do a story on this, so we can get some results. He needs to do some explaining why the fire is still burning.
North Havener April 20, 2012 at 10:23 PM
The Borrelli Farm owners may be subject to hefty fines from the DEP (Department of Enviromental Protection) as seen on the TV news tonight. They did not have the required permit/s required for having such an enormous pile of compost 70ft high on their property? The Town of North Haven knew how that pile got there and grew. They played a major role in putting it there. How could the Town of North Haven not know about the violation when the debris pile came from the Town? This was debris collected from the last 2 major storms of 2011. North Haven Public Works brought the material to the Borrelli Farm from what I've been told. If the Farm owners get fined, I wonder if the Town of North Haven will be fined, too? This was suppose to earn a PROFIT from the compost getting sold according to Mike Freda and instead we may be subject to a hefty fine, instead? This is a fine mess that Mike Freda got us taxpayers into. We'll give him credit for this, eventhough it's not the kind he wants.
North Havener April 21, 2012 at 05:05 PM
COMPOSTING TIP: Composting leaves is such an easy process I don't understand why more people aren't doing it. It's less work than raking and bagging them. It's nature's way of fertilizing the soil naturally as leaves fall. Whether you have a compost pile or you mulch your leaves and grass clippings as you mow, it puts nutrients back into the ground where they came from, thus enriching the soil. Removing leaves kind of defeats the purpose of fertilizing the ground as nature's intent. Grass clippings takes longer to decompose, so I am carefull not to let it build up too much on my lawn from 3-4 mowings in the spring. Even grass clippings has it's benefits. I mulch in the early spring when I fertilize my lawn and then mulch again in the fall as leaves come down. I pickup the grass clippings between spring and fall with a bagging attachment on my riding mower. I put the grass clippings along with some leaves into a compost pile that I till in and mix in with soil. This compost is ideal in gardens and topsoil for lawns.
Diane St John April 21, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Exactly! What fertilizes the woods? Man does not do it...the leaves do! The leaves feed the microorganisms we can see--like worms--and the life in the soil we cannot see--such as all the millions of microscopic microorganisms in each cup of soil. Then this life excretes the leaves (now broken down) into a form the plant and tree roots LOVE. Nature has done this forever. It's called the Soil Food Web. Where we got to the point where we bag up our leaves and grass clippings and pay a service or pay by our taxes to pick them up and throw them away, then we go to a big box store and pay for chemical fertilizer! It's a ridiculous cycle that we can all stop. Make a compost pile! It breaks down naturally-so easily! The chemical fertilizers bypass the soil-leaving it lifeless-and go directly to the plants. What happens when the plant needs more? You have to buy more since your soil has no organic material to feed the plants for you. North Havener is right-this compost is ideal in gardens and topsoil for lawns.

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