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

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)

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

Sidney Jon Blair said he would have died if a van and car had collided at the intersection of corner of Resthaven Drive and Brethour Avenue in early December. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney senior urges motorists to slow down on Resthaven Drive

Jon Blair said community must become more pedestrian-friendly

Bob Joseph, author of 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act, will be available for a Q&A through the Vancouver Island Regional Library Jan. 28. (Courtesy of Vancouver Island Regional Library)
Q&A on the Indian Act with Bob Joseph open to Greater Victoria residents

Bob Joseph is the author of 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act

Tarpaulin-covered tents sit next to one of the ponds in Beacon Hill Park. The location of the Meegan community care tent has still not been nailed down, as Victoria council rejected the recommendation offered by city staff. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Location of care tent for Victoria’s Beacon Hill campers still not settled

Council roundly rejects Avalon Road site, road’s edge on Cook Street appears the top alternative

Central Saanich will investigate ways in which the municipality along with funding partners Sidney and North Saanich can financially support the Panorama Recreation Centre. (Black Press Media File)
Central Saanich to spell out options for financially supporting Panorama Recreation Centre

Municipality looks for best use of COVID-19 restart grant worth some $3.5 million

The Songhees Wellness Centre is a symbol of First Nations strength in the region. Representatives of local First Nations will soon play a greater role in decision making and governance relating to the Capital Regional District. (Courtesy Royal Roads University)
Capital Regional District to add First Nations representatives to advisory committees

Board approves bylaw, looks forward to Indigenous input on future decisions

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Everett Bumstead (centre) and his crew share a picture from a tree planting location in Sayward on Vancouver Island from when they were filming for ‘One Million Trees’ last year. Photo courtesy, Everett Bumstead.
The tree-planting life on Vancouver Island featured in new documentary

Everett Bumstead brings forth the technicalities, psychology and politics of the tree planting industry in his movie

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)

Most Read