Firefighters have made progress on the tire plant fire at the Arizona Rubber Recycling Center off Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway.
According to Maricopa Fire Department division chief/investigator Mark Boys, crews remain on the scene Friday morning.
As of 8:30 a.m., a hazard abatement team is on the scene with heavy equipment and was there from midnight to 3 a.m. “Their primary objective is to smother this tire fire and take the oxygen away from it,” Boys said. “Air quality is being monitored very closely and weather conditions today are expected to be much like they were yesterday. The smoke plume will shift to the north and will be very much like yesterday, with some chance of showers today. The conditions are better than what we anticipated. We have still issued a general advisory for anyone that may have any respiratory issues. They are advised to stay indoors and refrain from any outdoor activity.”
Boys said the last he checked with Red Cross, no one had shown up at a voluntary evacuation site last night at Maricopa High School. No mandatory evacuations were issued since the fire began.
As for employees of the tire plant, they are being kept away from the site. “We put a cease and desist on the property last night, so the company cannot do any kind of production on site,” Boys said.
Boys noted that crews on the scene now are focusing on structure protection and security of the scene.
“We just want to make sure the fire doesn’t creep over into existing structures,” Boys said. “The firefighters have done a terrific job under adverse conditions. I’m very proud of the men and women we’ve had working on the job.”
Photos by Amy Jamieson and David Linehan