Update on Fire Incident at Schnitzer Steel / Radius Recycling

This is an update on the status of the fire incident at Schnitzer Steel / Radius Recycling that started AUG 9, 2023

SS Fire Aug 9

Oakland, CA – A fire was first reported at Schnitzer Steel / Radius Recycling at approximately 5:30 PM on August 9. Oakland Fire Crews contained the fire to a single large pile of debris by 6:30 PM. Twenty Oakland Firefighters along with fireboats from the cities of San Francisco and Alameda conducted fire suppression efforts for several hours and the fire was placed under control just after 9:00 PM

Oakland Fire crews and heavy equipment operators from Schnitzer Steel / Radius Recycling worked through the night and into the early morning pulling apart the debris pile where the fire originated. They made significant progress clearing away large sections of the pile while mitigating any remaining hotspots and preventing significant flare ups. There is still a large amount of debris to untangle on the initial pile and fire crews continue to spray water on that area to prevent any small fires that ignite from spreading. This preventative activity is what is causing the ongoing smoke to emanate from the location, however smoke conditions are much lighter than they were yesterday. Oakland Fire anticipates being on scene for several more hours today. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Oakland Fire Hazardous Material (HazMat) teams and representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency were on site for several hours last night evaluating conditions.

Last night, The Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued an air quality advisory due to smoke from the facility. Smoke from the fire was projected to “impact Oakland, San Leandro, Fremont and Alameda, with potential impacts as far south as San Jose overnight.” The Air District continues to monitor this situation closely.

Schnitzer Steel / Radius Recycling has informed the City that it has a system already in place with EBMUD whereby excess water on site – including runoff from OFD addressing the fire – is pumped, collected, filtered, and processed to prevent hazardous runoff into the Bay. Please direct follow up questions to Schnitzer Steel / Radius Recycling.

The Air District is not forecasting an exceedance of the national air quality health standard for the region and is not issuing a Spare the Air Alert. If the smell of smoke is present, it is important that Bay Area residents protect their health by avoiding exposure. If possible, stay inside with windows and doors closed until smoke levels subside. Set air conditioning units and car vent systems to re-circulate to prevent outside air from moving inside.

Check here for real-time air quality information: https://fire.airnow.gov/. For questions on Air Quality, please contact: communications@baaqmd.gov.

As of 8:00 AM this morning (AUG 10) local Air Quality was: Moderate.

Given these conditions there are currently no restrictions on outdoor work.

Risk will continue to monitor and start regular updates if AQI degrades into the orange level. Regarding thresholds for actions, listed below are general actions that departments should take for each specific condition. If there are specific questions about these actions please consult Administrative Instruction 604.

More information is available at: https://www.airnow.gov

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Michael Hunt
Chief of Staff


Posted: August 10th, 2023 11:34 AM

Last Updated: August 10th, 2023 11:51 AM

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