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Sunday, October 6, 2013

Stockton Fires Friday: 20 fires The two main fires were at a recycling plant and an adjacent rail yard

Stockton fire chief: Two main fires spawn up to 18 more

A fire blazes at the Newark Stockton Recycling Center at 800 West Church Street in Stockton.
Credit: CLIFFORD OTO/The Record
 STOCKTON – Two main fires in an industrial area of southwest Stockton were fanned by wind gusts up to 40 miles per hour and spawned between 15 and 18 other fires, according to Stockton Fire Chief Jeff Piechura.

Smoke from the two biggest fires briefly closed Interstate 5 from Highway 4 to Charter Way/Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and slowed traffic for miles. At one point, officials were reporting zero visibility on I-5, which is now re-opened.

Propane cylinders at one of the fires, at a recycling plant on West Church Street, exploded, and embers and hot metal from that explosion are believed to have caused some of the smaller fires, Piechura said.
Mutual aid came from all over the county to help put out the fires, which were reported around 3 p.m.

The two main fires were at a recycling plant and an adjacent rail yard where Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad ties burned, churning out black, heavy smoke.

There were no injuries reported from the fires.


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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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