Fire department in Wisconsin calls for aid from 30+ cities after fire at recycling center

PACIFIC, Wis. (WFRV) – Fire crews worked into the early hours of Thursday to put out a fire at a recycling center in Columbia County.

According to the Portage Fire Department, on May 24 around 2 p.m., crews were sent to a reported fire at the recycling center. While crews were on their way, they were advised about heavy black smoke and fire coming from the location.

When crews arrived, four large commercial steel structures were seen with ‘heavy’ fire coming from them. The buildings were reportedly filled with garbage and large bundles of recyclable materials.

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Officials say that crews attacked the fire from all sides to bring the fire to 90% under control before they were released to go get rest at 4 a.m the next morning. One crew stayed on scene to watch hot spots until fire operation could start again.

The fire reportedly caused heavy damage to all the structures and machinery with two structures are a total loss. Crews worked with an excavation company operating heavy equipment to put out and overhaul the fire.

The Portage Fire Department said it called for mutual aid from over 30 cities from surrounding counties. Multiple agencies were at the scene for various reasons including traffic control and providing food and support.

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The cause and origin of the fire are reportedly still under investigation.