Residents call police after smoke from burning horse manure came into their windows

Horses (illustration) 
By: Wayne Morin

Residents of a small town in New York, called police to complain that smoke from burning horse manure was coming into their homes through the windows.

The Department of Environmental Conservation said that Officer Don Damrath, received multiple calls complaining of smells and smoke emanating from a burning pile of horse manure in Throop.

Officer Damrath responded to the scene and found that horse stable owners had been storing the manure in large piles, and they spontaneously combusted in the excessive heat and dry conditions.

Damrath was told that the piles spontaneously ignite frequently, but prevailing winds normally blow the smell of the smoldering manure away from the stables.

This time, the winds were carrying the smoke into neighbors' windows, and the flames spread dangerously close to a valley full of dry vegetation and dead trees.

It took three fire departments more than two hours to extinguish the burning manure. The stable owners were advised to take measures to mitigate the combustion problem immediately.