California recycling center fire sends up huge smoke cloud

Posted at 6:34 AM, Oct 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-22 09:34:12-04

A fire at a Southern California recycling center Friday sent up huge flames and a plume of smoke that was seen for miles.

The fire erupted around 4:30 p.m. and quickly ignited wooden pallets, bales of cardboard and other recyclables in the sprawling yard about 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, authorities said.

Some 70 firefighters eventually were called in and attacked the sea of flames with hoses from trucks and nearby rooftops in the industrial area.

Nearby homes were being hosed down at the height of the fire but there weren't any evacuations.

The enormous cloud of black smoke could be seen for miles around. A woman near the fire was taken to a hospital for examination after she had difficulty breathing, Deputy Fire Chief Art Andres told the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin in Ontario.

No flights were affected at Ontario International Airport, which is about a mile from the fire.

Several hours after the fire broke out, the flames were contained to the recycling yard but the flames burned stubbornly, feeding on the densely-packed cardboard bundles and other items.

It could take until Saturday morning to douse the fire, Andres said.