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Originally published Monday, August 17, 2009 at 10:12 AM

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Substantial compost fire burning in Maple Valley

Fire officials were still at the scene this morning of a large compost fire burning near Maple Valley.

Fire officials were still at the scene this morning of a large fire burning in Maple Valley.

The fire, in a pile filled with woody debris, is at the Cedar Grove Composting Company, on Cedar Grove Road Southeast. .

The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency is monitoring the fire, said Spokeswoman Kimberley Cline. "It's a fairly substantial fire," Cline said. Susan Thoman, with Emerald Services Inc., which owns Cedar Grove, said the fire started in a wood "reject" pile. She said it was caused by spontaneous combustion and is contained and under control.

Thoman expects the fire to be out within the next 24 hours and crews are separating the burning pile to avoid its spreading.

Cline said people with respiratory problems who live in the area should close their doors and windows and leave the area if the smoke is too aggravating.

Steve Scott, who lives near the fire, said the valley was filling with "nasty smelling smoke." He said it smells like wood with an undercurrent of rotten garbage.

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