A two-alarm fire is burning at the Arizona Pacific Pulp Paper recycling center in Phoenix near the Phoenix Harbor International Airport late Tuesday.
Phx and Tempe units battling fIrst alarm fire on South 36th St and University. #besafe
— Phoenix Fire Dept. (@PHXFire) March 22, 2016
Flames and smoke on the Phoenix recycling plant were so close to the Phoenix Harbor International airport that some passersby thought the airport was on fire initially.
— Zack Massey (@zackmassey) March 22, 2016
The Washington Times reports that the Phoenix Fire Department is currently battling the flames at Phoenix recycling plant. Officials in Phoenix say that a lot of cardboard are on fire emitting large amounts of toxic black smoke near the recycling plant.
— Tony Squieri (@tsquieri) March 23, 2016
Authorities in Phoenix say that the fire ignited at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Currently the and authorities say its cause isn’t immediately known.
The recycling center is at 36th Street and University and is south of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
So far there are no reports of any causalities at the burning recycling plant.
According to AZ Central, no Sky Harbor airport operations will be affected by the fire at the recycling plant nearby in Phoenix.
Officials in Phoenix are still searching for the cause of the fire as securing the area continues.
Arizona News Station AZ Family also covered the flames in Phoenix. They spoke with Phoenix Fire Department spokesperson, Shelly Jamison, who says the wind is one of the biggest factors for the Phoenix Fire Department fighting this fire.
“It’s burning hot and fast, and the wind is not our friend today.”
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In fact, Jamison claims that the fire at the recycling plant is burning so hot and with the winds so strong, the Phoenix Fire Department is forced to take a defensive approach in putting out the flames instead of attacking it.
“We are not going in,” Jamison says. “We don’t want to be too close but we want to be near enough to have an effect on the fire.”
Jamison offers this advice to Phoenix residents who could be affected by the fire due to air quality,
“My advice is, if you can see it, if you can smell it, close your windows and bring your pets indoors. Turn of any ventilation systems and lay low.”
In addition she advises to keep your car windows rolled up if you are near the area on the road.
— Megan Bridgeman (@MeegaBridge) March 23, 2016
Jamison says the Phoenix Fire Department is also talking Phoenix city officials about shutting down power grids in the area due to the recycling plant fire.
This isn’t the first time the Phoenix recycling plant has broken out in flames either. The same facility caught fire in both 2013 and 2014.
Dr. Matt Pace, meteorologist at 12 News in Phoenix, confirmed that the flames are now contained at the recycling plant.
— Matthew Pace (@DrMatt12News) March 11, 2016
Details on how the fire and smoke started at the Phoenix recycling plant are still being investigated.
[Image via ShutterStock/Kletr]