Fire breaks out at recycling yard in Harbor Gateway area

Fire raced through bales of recycled material at a storage yard Saturday, tying up a huge army of firefighters and sending up a thick column of smoke, visible from much of Los Angeles and Orange counties.

The fire was in a recycling center in an industrial neighborhood between Carson and Torrance. It was contained at about 1:50 p.m., but dozens of firefighters were still rotating through work on the smoldering piles of goods, said spokeswoman Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Firefighters were to remain on scene for indefinite hours doing overhaul and making sure the fire is out, Stewart said.

About 170 City of Los Angeles firefighters were battling the blaze, she said. They were joined by battalions from Torrance, and Los Angeles County sent five engine companies, two trucks and two battalion chiefs, according to a county fire dispatcher.

Flames were first reported at 10:17 a.m. at 20333 S. Normandie Avenue,, the Los Angeles Fire Department said on Twitter. That location is in the city's Harbor Gateway area, a largely industrial district in the panhandle of Los Angeles that connects the San Pedro harbor area with the rest of the municipality.

Arriving firefighters called for additional resources, including dozens of additional trucks. A tractor unit was requested to plow through the debris there.

Helicopters were picking up foam from the old Navy base at San Pedro.

City fire commanders asked for support units to supply drinking water to dehydrated firefighters, and trucks to recharge their air tanks.

Smoke was visible in the otherwise-clear skies from across the South Bay area.

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