Firefighters on Sunday evening extinguished a “major emergency fire” that had raged for more than two hours at a recycling yard in Sun Valley, burning several stacks of junked vehicles but leaving nearby structures unscathed, according to officials.
More than 150 firefighters began responding shortly before 4 p.m. to the facility in the 9100 block of North Tujunga Avenue, where the fire was being fanned by 5-10 mph winds, the Los Angeles Fire Department said in a statement.
No one was injured, according to the agency, and no structures were damaged by the flames.
About two hours after incident began, firefighters continued to use large hose-streams as they made headway against the blaze, LAFD spokesman Rick Scott said.
In addition to the wind, which made the firefighters’ task “very challenging,” they had to “negotiate a water-supply issue,” LAFD Assistant Chief Gregory Reynar said. “If you’re aware of auto dismantlers and junkyards, obviously they don’t have a lot of hydrants many times. So we had bring in water from hydrants outside the property.”
Photos and videos posted by witnesses on social media show a massive plume of thick black smoke rising above the San Fernando Valley.
The smoke “just blocked out the sun,” photographer Nick Colbert said. “You couldn’t see anything else.”
A Periscope video shows firefighters inside the recycling yard dousing water on the wind-swept inferno, fueled by what the LAFD described as “large piles of tightly stacked vehicles.” Meanwhile, two of their colleagues use electric saws to cut through a nearby wall, presumably to improve access to the flames.
The fire was knocked down just before 6:30 p.m., the LAFD said. Firefighters were expected to remain at the scene overnight to ensure that “no significant flare-ups” occurred, Scott said.
The cause of the incident was not immediately known.