AFR and BCFR Responding to a Massive Fire at a Warehouse Plastic Factory Near Airport
Updated: Aug 6
Posted By: ABQ RAW Staff
Posted On: 08/06/2023 @ 3:05PM
UPDATED 08/06/2023 @ 6:01PM
Around 3pm, Albuquerque Fire Rescue (AFR) and Bernalillo County Fire and Rescue (BCFR) responded to a commercial fire at 5301 Hawking Dr SE, which is a plastic manufacturing facility named United Poly Systems. BCFR is reportedly running the fire fighting operation.
As of this posting, smoke can be seen from 40 miles away.
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Around 4:15pm, BCFR requested that Kirtland Air Force Base's Fire Department also help respond to the fire. We have heard fire fighters struggling with the hydrants in the area and claim they are running low on water. Hopefully, AFR and BCFR are able to get the firefighting assets they need.
Scanner traffic reports that flames have compromised at least one building. Firefighters are actively concerned about the wind shifting in the area. According to weather.com, wind near the Albuquerque Sunport is between 20-25mph and humidity is 9%. Diminished humidity, lack of rain, and wind gusts constitute the primary elements for the spread of fires, forming a detrimental combination.
At 3:55pm, BCFR decided they were going to let the fire burn, likely because of the chemicals in the facility. Firefighters did say they were making a stand to protect other facilities and structures. Firefighters again mentioned concerns about the shifting winds. Firefighters announced they are not worried about running out of water as of 4pm.
On the scanner, firefighters expressed concern for the onlookers on the east side of the fire, they said to be mindful of shifting winds. Over a 300 people came to the remote area to watch the fire from their vehicles atop sand dunes and mesa areas. Police were pushing people back to University Blvd to avoid the dangers of the fire and hazardous smoke.
We are getting Facebook messages from people living in Sandia Park, they are also able to see the smoke.
This fire is still out of control and there are many agencies responding with wildland fire crews trying to stop it from reaching the airport and Kirtland Air Force Base where some munitions are being stored.