STOCKTON (CBS13) — A fast-moving fire at a Stockton recycling center managed to close a stretch of Interstate 5 on Thursday, and is expected to continue burning well into Friday.
The fire at the Newark Recovery and Recycling Center started early in the afternoon.
Firefighters are no stranger to the center, responding to multiple fires, including one this past summer.
Crews say they are making progress, but concern remains about strong winds creating even more spot fires.
“It went from each stack of bales, to the next stack of bales, to the next stack of bales,” said Matt Harris with the Stockton Fire Department.
Wind-blown flames quickly spread through the densely packed paper and other recyclables. Blown embers are believed to have sparked more than 18 spot fires, including one that damaged a nearby home.
Firefighters also think a piece of metal from a propane tank set a pile of railroad ties ablaze.
Crews say they will remain on scene throughout the night, using dozers and spraying water on the fire until the flames are out.
“The winds are still blowing pretty good—as long as they’re blowing and that’s burning, it’s still going to continue to put up embers,” Harris said.