Can a wood mulch pile overheat?

7 years ago

This is a really random question, I know... This week, I've had in an arborist, who has chopped down a number of trees, opening up the garden to a huge amount more light. He brought his wood chipped along, and has chipped up both the branches and the leaves to form a nice pile of wood mulch for me - in fact, two piles; the first got too big! However, since he did this on Tuesday, it has rained, quite considerably, and I've not been able to get outside to do much with it. We only had one tarpaulin, so one pile is covered, and the other has gotten damp. I've just dug into the pile that got damp, and it's really rather hot. (I thought it had ash, but on closer inspection, it could be mould...)
Am I right to be worried? Should I be turning the pile to allow the heat to spread, spreading it out so that it doesn't overheat, or just leaving it so that it breaks down nicely inside?
I don't want it to suddenly burst into flames, given that I'm out of the house all day at work!
I've googled, but can't see anything that fits (possibly using the wrong keywords)
Many thanks

This post was edited by studentjo on Sat, Sep 28, 13 at 23:00

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