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Fireboats help extinguish scrap metal fire near port of Oakland

A burning heap of steel and other recycling debris sent thick plumes of smoke billowing southward from the Port of Oakland on Wednesday. | Source: Courtesy Oakland Fire Department

A burning heap of scrap metal at an Oakland recycling plant sent smoke billowing into the air Wednesday evening as fireboats drew water from the San Francisco Bay to douse the blaze.

The fire reported just after 5:30 p.m. at Schnitzer Steel was quickly contained to a 50-foot-tall pile of "steel and other recyclables," according to Oakland Fire Department spokesperson Michael Hunt.

Two fireboats—one from San Francisco and another from Alameda—were helping Oakland crews extinguish the burning mound of mangled metal with water from the bay, Hunt said.

Firefighters expect to remain on the scene until at least 9 p.m. to break down the pile and extinguish it piece by piece.

A cloud of dark smoke billows from a fire at Schnitzer Steel by the Port of Oakland on Wednesday. | Source: Jeremy Chen/ The Standard

The fire department asks Oakland residents to avoid the area near Jack London Square, close their windows and remain indoors if they smell smoke.

The Oakland Fire Department said it contained the fire to a 50-foot-high scrap metal heap soon after the fire was reported but expected it would take several more hours to fully extinguish the burn. | Source: Courtesy Oakland Fire Department

No information about the cause or how wide an area has been impacted by smoke or the blaze was immediately available.

Garrett Leahy can be reached at

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