Recycling Plant Fire Leads to Highway Closure

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) - Authorities in Northern California briefly shut down a portion of a major highway due to a large fire at a recycling plant.

The California Highway Patrol closed Interstate 5 in both directions Thursday afternoon after a two-alarm fire at the Newark Recycling & Recovery in Stockton.

Authorities say crews from surrounding areas were also working on about 18 spot fires resulting from embers and hot metal from the explosion as strong wind spread and heavy smoke led to poor visibility on the roadway.

The highway reopened shortly before 5 p.m.

Stockton Fire Chief Jeff Piechura says the fire started from a pile of papers burning outside the plant just south of the Port of Stockton. The fire spread to other recyclables including several propane tanks that exploded.

The fire also spread to a nearby house.

No injuries have been reported.

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