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 mid-Vancouver Island airport

Fire at Schnitzer Steel facility off Trans-Canada Highway near Nanaimo and Ladysmith

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.”

– Files from Cole Schisler



editor@ladysmithchronicle.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

fire

 

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)

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)

Just Posted

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of a Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu on May 8. (Black Press Media file photo)
Indigenous woman shot by police was holding a replica gun, says Ucluelet First Nation

Woman has been identified as a member of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation

Amphitrite Point lighthouse on Ucluelet’s Wild Pacific Trail during a massive winter storm. (Westerly file photo)
Ucluelet’s Official Community Plan public hearing goes ahead despite push back

A petition calling on Ucluelet council to postpone the May 13 virtual event fails to deter

The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police “E” Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on Friday April 13, 2018. Indigenous leaders are calling for an investigation into the conduct of Mounties on Vancouver Island after two police shootings of members of a small First Nations community in three months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Indigenous leaders call for clarity, investigation into RCMP after B.C. shooting

The RCMP declined to comment on the requests by Indigenous leaders

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation elected chief councillor Moses Martin, who was also Chantel Moore’s grandfather, speaks to media in Port Alberni on Aug. 16, 2020, during a visit from NDP leader Jagmeet Singh following the police shooting of Chantel Moore. (Elena Rardon photo)
Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chief says community “devastated” by third police shooting

Woman shot by Ucluelet RCMP in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu on May 8.

Tofino is adding to its planning department to keep up with rising interest in residential development in town. (Westerly file photo)
Interest in residential development rising in Tofino

District of Tofino boosting planning department.

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

A nurse asks screening questions at an immunization appointment in Nanaimo earlier this year. (Shawn Wagar/Island Health photo)
Island Health appreciates nurses answering the call in challenging times

Health authority draws attention to National Nursing Week

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Surrey RCMP is releasing sketches of a suspect in an “indecent act” at the Coyote Creek Elementary playground on April 30, 2021. Police said the suspect was clean-shaven “during some interactions” and on “other occasions had stubble outlining a goatee and mustache.” (Images: Surrey RCMP handout)
Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time to redo details of drug decriminalization plan

Kennedy Stewart says a federal election could see the small window of opportunity close on the city’s bid for an exemption from criminal provisions on simple possession of small amounts of drugs

These are just a handful of Vancouver Island’s missing person cases. Clockwise from top left: Lisa Marie Young, Lindsey Nicholls, Micheal Dunahee, Jesokah Adkens, Belinda Cameron and Emma Fillipoff. (File photos courtesy of family members and police departments)
Could Victoria skull fragment bring closure to an Island missing persons mystery?

Skeletal remains found in Greater Victoria have not yet been identified

Premier Mike Horgan received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Facebook/John Horgan)
More than 50% of people eligible in B.C. have received 1st vaccine dose

‘We’ve made extraordinary progress together over the past few weeks,’ says Premier Horgan

Most Read