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Fire at recycling plant fills skies with smoke, restricts travel on I-10

Posted: 4:12 PM, Apr 18, 2022
Updated: 2022-04-19 17:26:43-04
Fire at recycling plant

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Tucson Fire Department is assisting Rural Metro firefighters with a 2-alarm fire on the south side of Tucson.

A plume of black smoke can be seen for miles.

The Rural Metro Fire Department confirms a fire started at the back of UCC Recycling, spreading to the rest of the facility. It is unknown how the fire started.

Crews are hampered by large storage piles of paper recycling materials, windy conditions and low water pressure in the area. Tucson fire Department has been called in to assist. At this time there are no injuries.

Video below shows when Rural Metro first responders arrived, the building was fully engulfed.

Rural Metro Fire battles 2 alarm blaze at recycling plant

Rural Metro Battalion Chief John E. Walka gave KGUN 9 an update Tuesday afternoon, saying:

Crews are working through the day and night extinguishing hot spots and pulling apart large bails of recycled paper that smolder deep.

Some bails are stacked 15 to 20 feet high and require heavy equipment such as dozers to work alongside firefighters.

Investigators are still on the scene sifting through a large area to determine a cause.

At this time the cause is still undetermined.

Please stay with KGUN for continuing updates as this investigation continues.

Caleb Fernández is a digital content producer for KGUN 9. After earning his bachelor's degree from Penn State in Advertising/Public Relations, Caleb went to New York where he learned production assistance, photography and art direction. Share your story ideas and important issues with Caleb by emailing or by connecting on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.