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Air quality concerns after mulch fire in Mesa Wednesday

State officials said the smoke from Wednesday's mulch fire in Mesa is not hazardous.
Credit: 12News
Mulch fire near Mesa sends up smoke over the East Valley.

MESA, Ariz. — State air quality officials said the smoke from a mulch fire in Mesa Wednesday does not rise to the hazardous level, even though the smoke spread across the Valley Thursday morning.

RELATED: Large mulch fire contained near Loop 202 in Mesa 

The fire broke out on Wednesday in a large mulch pile near Sossaman and Elliot Roads and quickly became a three-alarm fire. 

Fire crews had it contained Wednesday evening, but smoke continued to rise as the mulch pile smoldered.

By Thursday morning, a thick cloud of smoke stretched across Camelback Mountain, 30 miles from the fire. 

Still, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality officials said the smoke did not rise above the federal safety standard for particulates. 

People living close to the fire said Thursday was the first day they'd smelled it since the winds had carried it away from them the day before. 

"Something that burns your nostrils," Brad Nall said. "It's really bad."

Fire crews were still on the scene Thursday afternoon, although the smoke had turned white, and no active flames could be seen. 

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