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Fire at plastics facility in New Mexico prompts air quality concerns

The fire is contained, but officials said hot spots may burn for days.
Fire at plastics facility in New Mexico prompts air quality concerns
Posted at 11:57 AM, Aug 07, 2023

The City of Albuquerque issued a health alert after a massive fire broke out at a plastics facility. 

The fire sent a large plume of black smoke over the New Mexico city on Sunday.

"Plastics are burning and the smoke contains hazardous air pollutants," the health alert says. 

The fire is contained, but officials said hot spots may burn for days. 

Officials said small broken-down plastics that were due to be recycled fueled the fire. 

"This was the type of fire that was destined to grow very rapidly," said Lt. Robert Arguelles of the Bernalillo County Fire Department. 

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A spokesperson for Atkore United Poly Systems told the Albuquerque Journal that the fire started in the exterior yard.

Employees at the facility were immediately evacuated. No injuries were reported. 

"The health and safety of our employees and the local community are our primary concern," the company spokesperson told the Albuquerque Journal. "We are currently assessing the situation, and are cooperating with the appropriate authorities including regarding determining the cause of the fire. We will communicate further information as it becomes available to Atkore."

The facility is located in an open area just outside of Albuquerque's city limits. The main building survived the fire, but at least 2 acres of land burned, officials said.

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