Schools near the Port of Los Angeles may be closed on Tuesday due to a huge wharf fire that started Monday night, according to the Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Fire Capt. Jaime Moore explained that fire officials had to wait until the sun came up Tuesday morning and see the extent of the smoke, which contains liquid cresote, before they could make a determination vis-à-vis the schools.
The creosote in the smoke comes from Pre-World War II lumber pylons that had been soaked in creosote, according to Moore. He added that the pylons, which were still burning, were contributing to “stubborn” conditions for firefighters, and stated, “It’s a very, very stubborn and low-burning fire.”
The fire started at roughly 6:40 p.m. Monday night under a steel warehouse, near some cargo ships. Los Angeles Fire spokeswoman Katherine Main said that the warehouse itself was not ablaze, but the dock underneath it was on fire, the Times notes. Firefighters were utilizing bulldozers and jackhammers to build trenches in order to limit the fire to ports 177 and 178. Meanwhile, LAFD divers plunged into the water to use hose lines to put out the fire. They were successful in limiting the fire to a 50-foot-by-800-foot area.
Although no injuries were reported, four employees had to be evacuated and the cargo ships near the fire were warned that they had to be moved away. Around 850 terminal employees were evacuated, the Times reported.