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Gardening in Washington State

Is wood chip mulch a fire hazard?

Coarse textured organic mulches, like wood chips, are the least flammable of the organic mulches. Fine textured mulches are more likely to combust, and rubber mulch is the most hazardous of all tested landscape mulches. If organic mulches are kept moist, they are less likely to catch fire. If you use flamers for weed control in areas near wood chips, be sure to soak the mulched area first.

arborist chips 2
Photo credit: Linda Chalker-Scott

For more information on wood chip mulches, see “Using Arborist Wood Chips As a Landscape Mulch” WSU Extension Fact Sheet FS160E Publications/FS160E

Submitted by: Linda Chalker-Scott, July 20, 2015


2 comments on “Is wood chip mulch a fire hazard?”

  1. jehru said on November 29, 2021:

    I ama looking for information on wood chips being flammable? I parked my car in an area that had wood chips in the parking areas and 39 minutes later my car was engulfed in fire? A total loss car and luckily the fire department was close because the entire area could have been engulfed? I need information about other fires as a result of wood chips, do you have any?

  2. Mark said on June 3, 2022:

    I have an commercial lpg tank below ground can i cover it over in wood chips?

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