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Spontaneous combustion of mulch causes El Dorado Hills backyard fire

Mulch spontaneously combusts in El Dorado Hills backyard amid high heat
Mulch spontaneously combusts in El Dorado Hills backyard amid high heat 01:46

EL DORADO HILLS — Record-level temperatures played a role in a backyard fire in El Dorado Hills this weekend.

Spontaneous combustion of mulch is the culprit and the whole thing was caught on camera.

Mike Wise woke up to the fire that started overnight, just hours after he had new mulch put in on a triple-digit heat day.

"I've never heard of bark literally catching itself on fire," he said.

Wise was able to put the flames out with a garden hose. The aftermath of the fire shows the charred mulch.

"It was like 108 yesterday, so that could've probably cooked the bark pretty good," said 7-year-old Grant Wise.

The young Wise got a summertime lesson in fire safety in his own backyard.

According to Homes & Gardens, mulch can catch fire on its own if it is piled up too thickly. That in combination with intense heat creates a fire danger.

"Opened the sliding glass door and my yard was literally on fire," Mike Wise said.

That backyard fire was just about 25 feet from the home. The grass around the property was watered and maintained to stop any possible spread.

"It's truly a blessing that we're all safe," Mike Wise said.

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