September 06, 2016
WeEscalon – 05:57am – This morning Escalon Fire Department responded to a nearby almond processing plant for reports of an almond hull fire. The processing plant is located on Sexton Road just south of Highway 120. On arrival they found several piles of almond hulls engulfed in flames and immediately got to work on the fire.
Some of employees on site used front loaders to move piles of hulls, while Escalon Fire crews used Engine #1 and a tanker truck to spray the flaming piles of almond hulls with water.
It appeared that the fire crews and processing plant staff had this fire contain and under control because of a fast response by all. A stubborn almond hull fire can smolder for days and send up a plume of smoke that can be seen from miles away.
The decomposing almond hull stacks emit flammable gases. Moisture within causes the stacks to smolder and then ignite spontaneously when exposed to oxygen. It’s the same principle as haystack fires but it’s a lot more aggressive fire that is harder to extinguish.