El Paso area firefighters extinguish massive Far East fire


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — UPDATE: Horizon Fire Chief Kris Menendez said a fire broke out in East El Paso County that scorched plastics at a recycling establishment surrounded by desert brush.

Firefighters battled the blaze that could be seen for miles as a large black smoke cloud rose vertically into the sky. After a little more than an hour, dozen of emergency personnel were able to bring the flames within control and eventually put the fire completely out.

Menendez said firefighters wore all personal protection equipment to guard against the carcinogens released by burning plastics. And, says the desert heat created some challenges for the crews who had full gear on.

Fire officials say the fire was contained to five acres while preventing another five from being burned. A total of 40 firefighters responded the blaze from the Socorro, Montana Vista and Horizon fire departments.

In all, one fire fighter inhaled some smoke but is fine, Menendez said. And, the cause of the fire is being investigated by the El Paso County Fire Marshal’s Office.

Our KTSM 9 News crews were first on scene to witness the fire at its peak and reported that the fire started going down around 5:30 p.m.

Below is a slideshow of images showing the blaze simmering down.

PREVIOUS: El Paso County area fire crews are currently battling a blaze near Horizon Boulevard and Ascension Street in Far East El Paso. The fire started just after 3 p.m. on Tuesday. A huge plume of thick black smoke could be seen for miles.

Several volunteer fire crews were on the scene battling the blaze. Due to the remote location of the fire, crews are using a relay approach to provide enough water to fight the flames.

This is a developing story and KTSM 9 News will update this story as more information comes into our newsroom. Stay tuned to KTSM 9 News on-air and online for the latest.

Video courtesy of KTSM 9 News viewer David Morales.

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