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Fire at Ontario cardboard recycling facility under control

A screenshot of a fire burning at an Ontario recycling facility on Friday, Oct. 21, 2016.
A screenshot of a fire burning at an Ontario recycling facility on Friday, Oct. 21, 2016.
NBC L.A.

Update, Sat., Oct. 22: Authorities say a fire that tore through an Ontario recycling center and sent up a cloud of smoke visible for miles is under control. 

Crews are mopping up scattered flames on the sprawling property, located just west of Ontario International Airport.

Ontario Fire Captain John Sitar tells KPCC that cardboard and plastic fueled the flames, making it a long fight: "Think of a Duraflame log, and you it bring into your home and you light it, and it takes quite a bit of time for that to burn out. And so we had, if you would, many of those logs stacked upon each other."

About 200 people living nearby were evacuated and have since returned home.

Two firefighters were injured. One suffered a burn to the hand. Another fell and needed stitches. One bystander was also treated for smoke inhalation.

The Air Quality Management District has issued a smoke advisory for areas of San Bernardino County and Riverside County.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.


Firefighters on Friday afternoon were battling a fast-moving fire at an Ontario recycling center, the Associated Press reports. The fire sent a massive plume of smoke into the air. The fire has sent huge flames into the air and a plume of smoke that can be seen for miles.

The fire broke out around 4:23 p.m. at a cardboard recycling facility, ABC7 reported, citing Ontario Fire officials. The fire jumped railroad tracks nearby, setting fire to some pieces of train track and a fence, though firefighters quickly controlled the flames. The railroad tracks were shut down in the area, according to the city.

"I can see the flames," Anna Alquitela told KPCC. She's the co-owner of Strum Brewing Company in Ontario. "The closest to it is Pepe's Towing. It's a tow yard. It looks like it's coming out of their building from here."

No major flight disruptions have been reported, according to the city, but you can check your own flights at this link.

According to the AP, the fire burned in a sprawling yard of cardboard bales and wooden pallets in Ontario, which is about 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.

Fire crews in trucks and on nearby rooftops were pouring streams of water onto the blaze, the AP reports. Views from the scene show several trucks on fire in the yard. No injuries have been reported.

Fire officials were concerned that winds could send sparks to other nearby buildings, according to ABC7.

This story has been updated.