Power interruption prompts burnoff at Chevron refinery in El Segundo

A burnoff at the Chevron oil refinery Monday in El Segundo was necessary because of a power outage, authorities said.

The safety procedure was initiated about 7:30 a.m. at the facility in the 300 block of El Segundo Boulevard, and a huge plume of smoke could be seen for miles.

El Segundo Fire Department Battalion Chief Breck Slover said the refinery lost power and initiated the burnoff, or "flare'' procedure, as a safety measure to burn off product so it didn't back up in the system and pose a hazard.

"It's a common occurrence, but this happened to be a pretty big one,'' Slover said.

El Segundo police said the burnoff posed no threat to the community.

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