EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The Las Cruces Fire Department (LCFD) extinguished a fire Wednesday morning, Aug. 30 at the South-Central Solid Waste Authority’s Amador Avenue Transfer Station in Las Cruces.

The fire was reported at 2:20 a.m. at the transfer station located at 2865 W. Amador Ave., according to LCFD.

LCFD says firefighters were dispatched after the City of Las Cruces Wastewater Treatment Facility operators noticed smoke emitting from the nearby transfer station.

A sprinkler system inside the transfer station was activated and helped control the fire until crews arrived and extinguished the smoldering trash.

The fire was brought under control withing about 20 minutes of the fire’s crew arrival, according to LCFD.

Additionally, the transfer station’s personnel arrived and helped move the moldering trash to an outdoor containment area to prevent flareups.

LCFD says investigators believe the fire may have been started by batteries, hot ashes, or charcoal that was improperly placed inside a trash receptacle. those items, when agitated, by heavy machinery and exposed to combustible materials at the transfer station, could ignite into fire.

LCFD and the South-Central Solid Waste Authority encourage residents to thoroughly extinguish, and saturate with water, ashes and charcoal prior to disposing in a trash receptacle.

The transfer station has a pallet specifically earmarked for the disposal of automotive batteries, and most lithium and lithium-ion batteries that are commonly used with power tools, laptop computers, tablets, electric scooters, e-bikes, cell phones and backup storage devices. Those batteries should never be disposed in a trash receptacle, according to LCFD.

The fire did not interrupt regular operating hours at the transfer station. The transfer station is open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends.