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)

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)

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)

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

Fire crews on scene at scrapyard near Nanaimo Airport

Just Posted

Lymphedema is often treated with medical devices such as compression garments, pneumatic compression pumps, or specialized custom wraps and bandages. (Submitted photo)
March 6 marks World Lymphedema Day

Lymphedema is caused by damage to the lymphatic system, and afflictings millions worldwide

Work has begun on the Downtown Public Washroom on 1st Avenue. (Submitted photo)
Work has begun on the Ladysmith Downtown Public Washroom

The project is expected to be finished in the spring

An architectural rendering of the five storey condo building at 201/203 Dogwood Drive. (BJK Architecture photo)
Five storey condo building proposal at Dalby’s proceeds to public hearing stage

Frank and Mike Crucil of FMC Holdings are hoping to turn Dalby’s Automotive into a five storey condo

Jimmy Seymour was recognized for his outstanding work as the solid waste operator for Stz’uminus First Nation. (Submitted photo)
‘He has a way with the community’, Jimmy Seymour recognized for his dedication to Stz’uminus First Nation

Jimmy Seymour uses his job as solid waste operator to spread kindness through Stz’uminus

LSS’s Parallel Players are hosting an online improv show. (Parallel Players photo)
Ladysmith Secondary School improv team hosts livestream performance

Perfomances will be held Thursday, March 4 and Friday March 5 at 7 p.m.

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: One man shot dead in ‘targeted incident’ in Metchosin

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

Personal protective equipment is seen in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
$16.9 million invested to improve worker safety, strengthen B.C.’s food supply chain

Money to be used for social distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and air circulation

Most Read