GFFR warns public not to extinguish cigarettes in potting soil

So far this year, Great Falls Fire Rescue has responded to three accidental fires.

Two of those involved smoking extinguishment in potting soil and once was cigarette extinguishment in a compost pile.

GFFR is asking the public to be aware that potting soil can be flammable and to avoid putting out cigarettes in potting soil.

GFFR, GFPD reminds public of fire pit rules, safety

Dirk Johnson, GFFR fire marshal, said that many bags of potting soil don’t include warnings of their combustibility.

Most potting soil is comprised of numerous flammable materials such as peat moss, wood fiber, coconut fiber, chopped bark or compost, aged forest products, aged humus and/or composted rice hulls, perlite, limestone, earthworm castings, alfalfa meal, kelp meal, feather meal and yucca extract, among other ingredients, according to information from GFFR.

According to firefighting agencies, potting mixes are increasingly the root cause of house fires when people extinguish their cigarettes in pots filled with potting soils.

Better options for putting out cigarettes, Johnson said, include jars of water, empty metal containers or containers with actual sand that doesn’t contain other combustible material.