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HomeLatest NewsMajor fire at Tracy recycling plant prompts nearby evacuations.

Major fire at Tracy recycling plant prompts nearby evacuations.


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A massive fire broke out early Thursday morning at a recycling center near an elementary school in the Banta community of San Joaquin County, believed to be fueled by five acres of wooden pallets at the GMA Pallet Recycling Corporation. The fire triggered three alarms, requiring extra resources and personnel from the fire department to manage the blaze. Despite challenges such as a lack of water supply in the area, firefighters were able to gain control of at least two-thirds of the burning yard.

The fire chief of the South County Fire Authority stated that the firefighters are close to fully containing and extinguishing the fire, although some hot spots still remain. The unique challenge posed by pallets, which easily create large fires due to their dry wood and gaps between rows, resulted in flames spreading quickly through the 16-foot-high piles stacked in aisleways at the plant. Evacuations of 19 homes were carried out, with six deemed most threatened, and a nearby elementary school was closed for the day due to the fire.

As the fire crews work to protect surrounding homes and businesses, a recycling plant employee estimated that 80,000 to 100,000 pallets had burned. Road closures were enforced between Grant Line Road and Chabot Court, and residents were advised to stay indoors due to smoke particulates in the air. The cause of the fire remains unknown, and the situation continues to unfold as firefighters strive to fully contain the blaze.

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