Advocacy group calls out city officials over Fresno recycling plant fire

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FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – A nonprofit raises the alarm about a major fire in Fresno last week that broke out at a recycling plant and its alleged impact on nearby residents.

Last Friday, a massive fire broke out at the Cedar Avenue Recycling and Transfer Station, (CARTS).

A group that has taken legal action against the City of Fresno in the past is now saying city officials could have done more to help residents impacted by smoke from this fire. The Leadership Counsel is an advocacy group that fights for sustainable and equitable development, and housing rights.

Grecia Elenes, a spokesperson for The Leadership Counsel says the massive inferno seen Friday should concern city officials about residents who live nearby.

“This does play into the larger picture of what is being put where and next to which population,” said Grecia Elenes. The city has a plan to further industrialize this area.”

According to the City of Fresno’s Master Plan, part of South Central Fresno is being prioritized for industrial development. Councilmember Miguel Arias represents this area of Fresno on Fresno’s City Council. He was not available for comment for this story.

Residents who live less than a mile from where the fire happened didn’t want to go on camera but said smoke conditions were bad, and it took the smoke about 12 hours to clear out on Friday night. The Leadership Counsel feels city officials could have responded sooner.

“At the very minimum, go door to door, provide housing vouchers, provide general resources or a meal,” Elenes said.

The Leadership Counsel also reached a settlement agreement with the city in March on behalf of south-central residents over the development of a warehouse.

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