THROOP, N.Y. – Upstate New York residents called 911 complaining of smoke and foul odors after scorching summer heat caused horse manure to spontaneously catch fire earlier this month.
According to the state Department of Environmental Conservation, authorities received “multiple calls complaining of smells and smoke emanating from a burning pile of horse manure in the town of Throop” on July 5.
The fire started spontaneously at a stable where the owners were storing large piles of manure, according to the DEC. The fire spread from the stable and nearly ignited a valley filled with dead trees and dry brush, officials said.
It took three fire departments more than two hours to extinguish the fetid blaze.
The stable owners told the DEC that the manure had spontaneously caught fire in the past, but this time the wind – instead of carrying the smoke away from other residences – brought it straight into neighbors’ open windows.
DEC officials advised the stable owners to “take measures to mitigate the combustion problem immediately.”