Large blaze causes $300,000 in damage at Hollister recycling plant

A wall of flames and smoke consume Eagle Recycling building on

Firefighters had contained all of the spot fires that started
around 5 p.m. Tuesday in vegetation at the Eagle Recycling plant on
San Juan Road on Hollister’s far west side, but the commercial
building there continued burning into early-morning hours,
according to Calfire.
Firefighters had contained all of the spot fires that started around 5 p.m. Tuesday in vegetation at the Eagle Recycling plant on San Juan Road on Hollister’s far west side, but the commercial building there continued burning into early-morning hours, according to Calfire.

A cause remains unclear for the fire at 2400 San Juan Road site. It consumed hundreds of cardboard bundles on the property, while causing the smoke and smell to spread throughout the Hollister. Crews from Calfire and multiple local and regional agencies responded.

Crews were expected to remain on site throughout the morning as Calfire anticipated having full containment at some point today, according to a statement from the state agency.

Calfire reported early this morning the fire had damaged 50 percent to 75 percent of the warehouse building, with those damages estimated at $300,000. Contents inside the structure were completely destroyed. Total damage will remain unknown until the fire is completely contained. There were about 45 firefighters working the incident overnight.

The fire’s smoke was visible miles from the 2400 San Juan Road site, near the city’s wastewater plant. So were the Calfire airplanes that dropped retardant on the recycling center, a rare sight that close to an urban area.

The fire, with an unknown cause at this point, started shortly before 5 p.m. and shot flames about 50 feet into the sky. Hundreds of bundles, all of it appearing to be cardboard, burned as crews battled the blaze. More than an hour into it, many of the clusters of recycling material outside the building there had remained on fire. Calfire reported in a press statement that upon arrival shortly after the report came in at 5:10 p.m., about three-quarters of the commercial building on site had been consumed.

One Hollister resident reported ash and paper had fallen on her home’s deck. That home is about four miles from the fire. The resident, Ruth Erickson, lives on Albright Drive between Sunset Drive and Sunnyslope Road.

Erickson said the charred pieces of paper on her deck were about an inch and a half long.

“I thought, ‘Ahh, this has got to be some kind of paper fire,'” said Erickson, who noted how it “stinks” from the fire where she lives.

Multiple agencies were helping, including the Hollister Fire Department and Gilroy Fire Department.

Calfire also reported the following were involved: the Aromas Tri-County Fire Protection District, South Santa Clara County and North County, Marina Fire Department, Monterey County Regional, Seaside Fire Department and the Salinas Fire Department.

There were a total of 15 engines on scene. Calfire responded with two chief officers, a bulldozer, an air tactical observation unit, two air tankers, and one helicopter with a helitack crew. There were a total of about 75 firefighters fighting the blaze, according to the Calfire statement.

The California Highway Patrol rerouted traffic near the site of the fire.

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