UPDATE: Evacuations were lifted at approximately 11:30 a.m.
A huge fire at a metal scrap yard is now under control, but far from out. Overnight, fire fighters sifted through the top of the debris and put out some hot spots.
“You could see steam, rising up over the night as well. Just because of the cooler. Probably see of some of that rising,” said Eric Duran, Fire Inspector for the Pueblo Fire Department.
Evacuations in surrounding neighborhoods are still in place because the smoke from the fire is so dangerous. A health advisory is still in effect because the debris that's burning.
“The Pueblo County Health Department has not resented their health advisory. It was just an advisory to take precautions. There were not forced evacuations,” said Duran, Monday.
Pueblo County Health Department advised that people with respiratory problems should avoid the area. Nearby neighbors were told they could evacuate. If they chose to stay, the health department says doors and windows should be shut, and air conditioners turned off.
“We would have welcomed the rain. Unfortunate it was just north of us as it passed through town. We did get a lot of wind with is and that’s what caused the heath advisory for the Salt Creek and Blende Areas,” said Duran.
The fire started around 2:30 Sunday afternoon at American Iron and Metal. That's near Santa Fe and Highway 227 on the southeast side of Pueblo. At the peak of the fire it was about the size of a football field. EPA crews are out collecting air samples as well as samples of the material that's burning to see exactly what it is. Ground water is also being tested. The fire is burning material from scrapped cars that's not metal. That includes plastic, Styrofoam and insulation.
There was another fire at this same scrapyard back in April. Investigators say the two fires are not related.