Oil refinery flares cause evacuations in Benicia, Calif.

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A Northern California city has ordered occupants to evacuate a business park downwind of a large refinery that lost power, causing significant flaring. (KFSN)

A Northern California city has ordered occupants to evacuate a business park downwind of a large refinery that lost power, causing significant flaring.

Giant black plumes of smoke could be seen for miles around the refinery on the east side of the San Francisco Bay Friday morning. Those in the area were advised to stay inside.

The city of Benecia said the Valero refinery lost power Friday morning, resulting in massive flares. Benecia is 38 miles (61 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco.

Acting Deputy City Manager Mario Guliani says the city evacuated nearby and issued a precautionary shelter-in-place for residents and for two elementary schools.

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