Concerns arise after local scrap metal fire


Photo Credit: Raphael Kluzniok, The Chronicle

Melanie Hamaguchi, Staff Writer

A fire at a Redwood City scrap metal recycling plant has raised new concerns about its effects on the people and environment of nearby areas.

On Nov. 10, a fire broke out among a pile of scrap metal at SIMS Metal Management in Redwood City. The fire raged for over 15 hours before firefighters were able to extinguish it. While officials cannot be certain as to what materials were burning, it is assumed that various plastics, metals, and car parts were consumed in the blaze.

“I think the fire will have a negative effect on the environment, this will increase pollution in the area,” said sophomore Melody Shanahan.

Photo Credit: Raphael Kluzniok, The Chronicle
Photo Credit: Raphael Kluzniok, The Chronicle

Air pollution can have a negative effect on the environment because pollutants in the air can come down to the earth with rain or  as dust. Toxic chemicals released into the air as a result of the burning of metals can eventually harm ecosystems due to this cycle.

“I think it will be bad for people’s health because of the toxic materials that were burnt,” said local resident Justin Tsuchiyama.

Air quality readings published online showed that on the day of the fire, the quality of the air was marked at a level that could be concerning to people with health issues. A shelter in place warning was issued in the area, advising people to stay indoors to avoid inhaling the fumes. Some people located in areas close to the fire also reported feeling a slight burning sensation in their eyes.

Although the fire does raise concerns for the community, one can only hope that this incident will prompt further regulations in order to prevent such events from occurring again.