A couple of mulch fires had Riverhead firefighters busy Sunday afternoon as two separate flowerbeds near a Route 58 parking lot caught fire.
The first mulch fire started about 1:25 p.m. in a mulch bed near the Hudson City Savings Bank parking lot. Firefighters got to the scene and mopped up the area before the fire could spread.
About 3:30 p.m., a second small mulch fire started in a flowerbed just across the road near the Best Buy parking lot. A Riverhead fire truck arrived minutes later and firefighters put out the smoldering mulch.
Mulch can be lit on fire accidentally by people, but can also ignite spontaneously depending on the right weather conditions, firefighters said.
Second assistant fire chief Kevin Brooks said the fire department must always be wary to put out the mulch fires when they’re small so they don’t spread.
“With wind like this, you can never be cautious enough,” he said.