Clouds of toxic smoke continue to fill the air around a rubber recycling plant that went up in flames Monday night.
Saskatoon fire crews stayed overnight to monitor the remains of a massive fire at Shercom Industries, just off Highway 11, that started around 7 p.m. on April 4.
While the smoke has thinned, a deputy fire chief on scene told CKOM News wind has shifted toward the airport.
The Ministry of Environment has conducted air quality tests in the area; results are pending.
More than 25 personnel, with 17 fire vehicles from Saskatoon and Warman, worked to contain the blaze that proved a difficult fight.
“This is a particularly challenging fire because we don’t have a great water supply, so we’re shuttling water with the tankers,” said Dave Bykowy with the Saskatoon Fire Department.
“We’re having to use some water conservation techniques.”
Bykowy said firefighters punched holes in the wall to shoot in water, creating a lot of steam to help extinguish the fire.
The blaze started in the east of three interconnected buildings, used primarily as a warehouse for the storage of process materials along with a number of vehicles.
Officials said the fire may have breached the separation wall and spread to the second building where 20,000 pounds of shredded rubber, eighty 208-litre barrels of poly urethane and large quantities of finished products were housed.
“We’ve purposely kept the building closed. We’re trying to keep this as a ventilation-controlled fire. There’s a lot of fuel in there,” he said.
“We know that there’s a lot of chemicals in there, poly urethane, a lot of rubber… we’re trying to contain the airflow to it.”
Bykowy said the smoke is toxic, but the affected area was mainly clear when the fire broke out.
No injuries have been reported.
A cause of fire has yet to be determined.
— 650 CKOM (@CKOMNews) April 5, 2016