Fire at Dos Palos recycling plant under control

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The air is much clearer now, and a "shelter" alert has been lifted, but that smoke did cause a lot of concerns Tuesday night (KFSN)

The air is much clearer now, and a "shelter in place" alert has been lifted, but that smoke did cause a lot of concerns Tuesday night because of the potentially toxic materials that were burning.

Bright orange flames shot into the sky over this recycling center in an industrial area of Dos Palos Tuesday night and thick black smoke drifted toward neighborhoods. Authorities asked everyone to close their doors and windows and bring pets inside.

Chief Barry Mann of the Dos Palos Police Department stated, "In recycling centers they have a lot of things, wood, plastic, and some of those things have toxins in them the way they're produced, and as the air changed last night and got heavier it dropped down into the residences and was coming in through open windows and things last night."

The school district prepared by putting up unhealthy air quality flags at each campus, but the advisory was lifted before classes began Wednesday morning. "It just so happens last night we got the notification that it was clear, however we kept the elementary, students K-2 students, indoors and plan to keep them indoors until the end of the school day," said Brian Walker, Dos Palos Oro Loma Superintendent.

Firefighters spent the day spraying the area with water to prevent hot spots from flaring up, and the property owner used heavy equipment to remove the piles of debris. The recycling center has been closed for about two months, but Chief Mann says crews were cleaning the property when the fire started. "It looks totally accidental. It appears some work was going on and a spark went into the debris that they were cleaning up and caused a fire and those things unfortunately happen."

Authorities initially thought it could take days to put out this fire, but they the cooperation from the property owner helped them get in and get it under control overnight.
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