East Valley residents still dealing with aftermath of Mesa mulch fire

It's almost a guarantee that people in Mesa have smelled a mulch fire at some point in June.

"It's fairly close, I can see where it is, and I can smell it on a daily basis," said Erinanne Saffell, a state climatologist for Arizona.

The fire began at CTW Greenwaste Recycling, a local company that takes in organic waste and composts it into a 100% recycled amendment for farming, and smoke from the eight-day fire impacted neighborhoods in Mesa and Gilbert.

Experts said during the fire, the smoke was trapped by night temperatures, and is pushed out in the morning.

"What that does is it traps some of that soot from that smoldering pile of mulch, and so as it accumulates through the night, we can smell it better in the morning because then our winds start to pick up and shift it, and those winds come from the east and shift it to the 60 and Gilbert and into the metro area, and we can absolutely smell it," Saffell said.

Saffell commented earlier in June that the fire did not result in air qualities reaching extreme levels.

Some still dealing with the fire's after-effects

While the fire is out now, sow are still dealing with a rather smokey ordeal.

"Our house just smells of kind of like cigarette smoke, kind of just lingers all morning until we get the air purifiers going and the fans," said Kristen Marion, a Gilbert resident. "It's been annoying."

For Rachel Lane of Gilbert, it is her car that is affected,

"The outside smells bad. The inside smells more like an old bowling alley and stinky, cigarette-y stuff," said Lane. "It smells like it’s a 200-year-old bar that’s been smoked in for about 200 years."

Lane's car was parked at a storage center near the scene of the fire.

"We didn’t know if we were going to lose our vehicle, or what we’d find when we got back into here," said Lane.

Lane's car survived, but some of the RVs in the lot still have soot caked on. Lane said she is now searching for anyone who can get rid of a smell this thick.

"We’re hoping that everything turns out good," said Lane. "We’d hate to lose this vehicle, but we’re just not sure."

Lane said they need a solution soon, as some of her family is asthmatic, and being in the car is not an option

On Wednesday, CTW Greenwaste Recycling issued a statement saying "Our entire crew has been working in shifts non-stop, 24 hours a day, to suppress the remaining fire and perform cleanup. We expect the smoke to dissipate completely as soon as our cleanup is completed, which we hope will be within the next few days."


Mulch fire in Mesa now contained, but it's still sending smoke into the air

Crews have contained a large mulch fire that was burning in Mesa near Elliot and Sossaman Roads.

Here's a few tips you can do as the smoke lingers: Change out your air filters and avoid exercising outside.