UPDATE: Residents Near Landfill Fire Advised to Shelter-in-Place
By Katie Lyons
Sun May 11th, 2014 6:01pm America/Los_Angeles
SAN JOSE — A fire captain is advising residents to shelter-in-place if they smell heavy smoke coming from a blaze burning at the Zanker Landfill in San Jose Sunday evening.
The trash fire, located in the vicinity of 705 Los Esteros Road was reported shortly before 4:30 p.m. Sunday, a fire dispatcher said.
Firefighters were still working to bring the blaze under control as of 9 p.m., San Jose fire Captain Reggie Williams said.
No structures have been reported threatened, but heavy smoke is visible in the surrounding areas. Williams estimated that the smoke was visible up to five miles away.
People smelling smoke are advised to close their windows and shelter-in-place. Residents with emphysema, asthma or other respiratory conditions may be more impacted by the smoke and should take necessary precautions not to breathe in smoke-laden air, the fire captain said.
Williams said crews are battling the blaze and are using six bulldozers to move dozens of piles of trash that are on fire. Williams said the piles tower between 20 to 30 feet high and have been difficult to penetrate with water. Crews are working to create smaller piles with the bulldozers to more easily put out the flames.
Due to the remote location, water access has been limited and a shuttle system was put in place to bring water out to the landfill, according to Williams.
The fire has not yet been knocked down and crews will remain at the scene overnight.
Williams said that fire crews and Zanker Landfill employees are working together and hope to have the fire knocked down within 12 to 24 hours.
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