PHX Fire: Recycling plant fire 100% contained

Posted at 4:39 PM, Mar 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-23 11:52:18-04

Fire officials said Wednesday that a large fire that erupted the day before at a Phoenix recycling plant was '100% contained.'

Captain Aaron Ernsberger said crews would be at Arizona Pacific Pulp and Paper for a few hours on Wednesday to mop up hot spots.

The Arizona Departmrnt of Environmental Quality said there was "minimal environmental impacts' from the blaze.


Phoenix Fire Department officials say the blaze at Arizona Pacific Pulp and Paper was up to three alarms at one point late Tuesday afternoon.

The recycling center near 38th Street and University Drive is south of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Wind gusts of up to 30 mph fanned the flames since the fire broke out around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Some 150 firefighters were at the scene. Crews were shooting water at bundled bales of recycled cardboard and other materials on fire or smoldering outside the center.

“We attack these very carefully. When explosions are heard, that would cause us to back out. Our number one concern at this point is safety,” Phoenix Fire Deputy Chief Shelly Jamison said.

The Arizona Department of Air Quality says because cardboard and paper are burning, it's not considered a hazardous materials situation. The pollutant of concern right now is particulate matter 2.5, which is also known as soot. ADEQ says the pollutant is similar to what's seen during wildfires.

The cause of the fire still isn't clear. Records show the plant was cited for four different violations in 2015. One of which cost them $1,200.

The smoke drifting east--due to wind--and was so large that it could be seen on the ABC15 Desert Doppler.

No flights were delayed and no injuries were reported.

For those living near the area, ADEQ suggests staying inside, keeping windows and doors shut and avoiding strenuous activity until the air clears.

Check current air quality statistics in your area here.

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