Mulch Fire Strikes at Winding Brook Farm

At four forty a.m. on Friday, January 29th, the Juba family awoke to the ring of their doorbell. A driver on Bristol Road saw huge plumes of smoke coming from behind their house and wanted to alert the family of a fire the driver believed to be in the Jubas’ backyard. The fire, however, was not raging in the Jubas’ backyard, but in Winding Brook Farm, located next to and behind the Jubas’ neighborhood.

“There was a lot of smoke. It was so opaque you couldn’t even see anything behind it. It basically looked like a cloud fell out of the sky, there was so much smoke,” Adrienne Juba, a junior at Central Bucks South High School, recalled.

The smoke blew downwind of the Jubas’ house, so no family members experienced trouble breathing and no smoke smells permeated their home. However, Adrienne’s mother, Jaime Foley, travelled on Route 611 and said it “smelled like a bonfire.”

The spread of smoke throughout the area led to the cancellation of in-person school at Barclay Elementary School and Titus Elementary School, with students participating in asynchronous learning at home, due to the schools’ locations downwind of the smoke. Central Bucks High School South, which is located across the street from Winding Brook Farm, was upwind of the smoke and able to continue with in-person classes. Driving into school on Friday morning, many students witnessed great clouds of smoke rising from the farm and obscuring their sight.

Due to its presence near the farm, many firetrucks used the fire hydrant near South’s football field to fill up their water tanks so they could help fight the fire. Firetrucks from all over Bucks County came to assist with the fire, with some from as far away as New Hope.

The fire began in a mulch pile around 3A.M. on Friday and firefighters arrived soon after to combat the flames.

No one has been hurt due to the fire, and neither the farm nor surrounding woods were affected. Reportedly, machinery near the mulch was damaged in the course of the fire.

Many residents wanted to get their own look at the blaze and smoke. Adrienne said, “Our neighborhood has become a bit of a tourist attraction. The entire morning, cars have been coming into the neighborhood and pulling U-turns to look at the fire because you have a perfect view from here. So many people have been coming to take pictures and look.”

Robert Juba, Adrienne’s father, was interviewed by Fox-29 News early in the morning regarding the fire.

“Go support Winding Brook Farm after this,” Adrienne said, recommending their haunted hayride in the fall months.

Winding Brook Farm has been a beloved spot for the community for many years, with many Central Bucks students having visited on field trips with their schools as the farm offers educational tours. The aforementioned hayride is a popular haunt during Halloween as a festive activity, with scary and regular options providing fun for all ages. The farm’s Halloween festivities also typically include a pumpkin patch where visitors can pick pumpkins and a haunted maze. The farm also hosts birthday parties and block parties.

 

A plume of smoke rising from the farm, as seen in the parking lot of CB South.

Smoke travelling through the woods behind the Jubas’ backyard. Photo by Holly Mirales.

Smoke billowing around an excavator. Photo by Holly Mirales.

Two firemen shrouded in smoke next to an excavator. Photo by Holly Mirales.