Off-duty firefighters called for cover in as Fresno recycling plant burns

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FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – Fresno firefighters were still on the scene of a massive fire at a southwest Fresno recycling plant Friday night.

It started just after 5:00 p.m. in the area of Cedar and Highway 99 – and continues to put a major strain on resources throughout the city as the fire burns.

More than three-quarters of the city’s crews were called to the area.

“We’ve initiated a recall for off-duty personnel to come in. We had to move up engines from different locations to try to cover and still respond to other fires and rescues,” said Fresno Fire Department’s Shane Brown.

Brown says thousands of feet of hose were used to pump water from every available hydrant in the area. Crews fought to protect nearby structures while facing challenges getting water to penetrate the huge piles of burning debris – all in record-breaking heat.

“Our firefighters, our most important resource, they’re working in 110-degree heat in very unforgiving equipment,” Brown said.

Cedric Reese and other Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers step up when firefighters are on scene for long periods of time. They set up recovery areas to help keep crews safe so they can continue protecting others.

“We provide them with water, Gatorade, some snacks, some sugary stuff. They should spend at least 20 minutes in rehab and then when they’re refreshed and ready to go then they go back out on the line,” said Reese.

It is unknown how the fire started.

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