Crews are fighting a fire in the scrapyard at Schnitzer Steel near the Trans-Canada Highway and the south Cedar Road intersection south of Nanaimo. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

Fire crews on scene at scrapyard near Nanaimo Airport

Fire at Schnitzer Steel facility off Trans-Canada Highway

UPDATE: Crews have contained spread of fire near Nanaimo Airport

Fire crews are on scene at a fire at Schnitzer Steel Canada’s facility south of Nanaimo.

Emergency vehicles are active in the area. The fire is in the yard of the business’ property near the Trans-Canada Highway and south Cedar Road intersection.

Fire departments from numerous jurisdictions, including Cranberry, North Oyster, North Cedar, Crofton, Duncan, Sahtlam and Ladysmith are on scene and a piece of heavy machinery is being used to pull wreckage away to allow crews easier access to the fire. B.C. Wildfire Service is also on scene.

Northbound traffic on the Trans-Canada Highway, between the intersection at Cedar and Timberlands roads, is being impacted, with one lane being closed to allow for emergency vehicle movement.

A helicopter is on scene, assisting in battling the blaze.

Florian Schulz, North Oyster fire chief and incident commander, said the fire was still burning out of control as of 12:40 p.m. and the biggest challenge was the “fuel load.”

“It’s a massive pile of recyclables; car parts, plastics … water is a challenge,” said Schulz. “We have about 15 trucks settling water right now, so we’re somewhat keeping up, but the fuel load is just massive.”

Schulz said a pair of fire trucks were also attending to a nearby tree line “attacking the spread of the fire.”

RELATED: Evacuations, boil water order anticipated due to Schnitzer Steel fire

Arley Dalziel, manager of nearby ColdStar Solutions Inc., said he was worried about the fire and potential evacuation.

“We’re definitely very concerned,” said Dalziel. “We’ve got a freight operation right now that we’re having to make a lot of adjustments on to make sure that we’ve got places for our freight to go and obviously we’re very concerned about the two facilities, the proximity. It’s rather frightening as you can see. We’re waiting and hoping for the best. It seems like they really called out the troops.”

Fire crews were seen re-positioning to ColdStar’s facility at 12:30 p.m. and were spraying down the side of the building at about 1 p.m. as the fire was creeping increasingly closer.

Nanaimo Airport said the fire and smoke is not impacting airport operations.

Two B.C. Ministry of Environment Environmental Emergency Response vehicles were seen arriving at the site of the fire.

David Pridham, B.C. emergency response officer, said the ministry was the lead provincial agency on scene to address any issues with dangerous goods.

“We are working with the responsible party, Schnitzer Steel, to address on-site and potential off-site migration (firefighting run-off),” said Pridham. “They’ve reached out and retained a qualified emergency response contractor that’s responding to site here should any potential off-site migration take place.”

More to come.

– Files from Cole Schisler



editor@ladysmithchronicle.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

fire

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A fire is burning in the scrapyard at Schnitzer Steel near the Trans-Canada Highway and the south Cedar Road intersection south of Nanaimo. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

Fire are crews are on scene of a fire at Schnitzer Steel, south of Nanaimo. (Cole Schisler/Ladysmith Chronicle)

Just Posted

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

COVID-19 isn’t cancelling this year’s Tour de Rock

Alumni riders will cycle relay sections in their own communities

POLL: Can B.C. hold a provincial election safely during a pandemic?

Can B.C. hold a provincial election safely during a pandemic?… Continue reading

Trail proposed to connect Cedar and Yellow Point

Regional director says project fits with active transportation goals

Woodgrove Centre posts plans to make masks and temperature checks mandatory

Mall advises in letter to customers that rules will come into effect Monday, Sept. 21

Protesters march in Nanaimo, calling for greater protection of forests and watersheds

March for the Forests happened downtown on Friday afternoon

Nanaimo residents ticketed for putting out garbage bins the night before pickup

Conservation officers say they issued seven tickets this week, as warnings weren’t having an impact

Accused in Makayla Chang’s murder sees next court date in October

Steven Michael Bacon faces first-degree murder charge in killing of Nanaimo teen

Regional District of Nanaimo looks to create its own flag

Staff created makeshift flag earlier this year for a conference that ended up getting cancelled

Nanaimo senior defrauded out of $14,000 in ‘grandson scam’

80-year-old victim was told her grandson was out-of-province and in legal trouble

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Conservation officers free fawn stuck in fence in Nanaimo

Fawn was uninjured after getting caught in fence in Hammond Bay area Wednesday

Beefs & Bouquets, Sept. 16

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

One person dead in two-vehicle accident in North Island

Highway 19A was closed for several hours north of Courtenay following the crash

Most Read