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09/06/2011 10:27 am ET | Updated Nov 06, 2011

Texas Fire Ignited Spontaneously (VIDEO)

An extreme drought may not be the only problem facing residents of Texas this summer. KXAN in Austin reports that firefighters responded to a brush fire last month that started on its own.

The fire, which ignited in a compost or mulch pile, was blamed on spontaneous combustion. Austin Fire Lieutenant Jim Baker told KXAN that decomposition in compost piles creates heat. He explained that in the summer heat, "everything is dry and it's not uncommon for mulch piles to spontaneously ignite."

In the video, Jill Lavigne, a worker at a local nursery, recommends watering compost piles if it doesn't rain, or splitting them into smaller piles. Firefighters also suggest residents pay attention to the vegetation around compost piles and cut it short to keep fires from spreading.

As of Tuesday morning, a wildfire in Central Texas has already destroyed almost 500 homes, according to the Associated Press. Governor Rick Perry said there are over 50 wildfires burning across the state.

Texas is currently facing its worst drought since the 1950s, and several towns are nearly out of water.

WATCH:

So hot, fires now starting themselves: kxan.com

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