Massive fire erupts at California walnut factory

‘A column of black smoke can periodically be seen as the fire finds the right fuel and oxygen combination and flames flare up,’ says the Butte County Fire Department

Nathan Place
New York
Friday 04 February 2022 21:52
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A massive fire broke out at a walnut processing plant in Live Oak, California

Firefighters have finally put out an enormous fire at a walnut processing plant in Live Oak, California.

The Butte County Fire Department first reported the blaze at the Diamond Walnut Growers factory at about 8.40am on Friday. Almost three hours later, the flames were still going.

“Fire continues burning in the hundreds of bins stacked around the property edges,” the department tweeted. “A column of black smoke can periodically be seen as the fire finds the right fuel and oxygen combination and flames flare up. We continue to have 5 engines and a BC [Battalion Chief] committed.”

Authorities also said Highway 99 is closed through Live Oak, and several nearby homes have been evacuated.

“We did evacuate some of the residences right behind the facility and then to the north and south for precautions, but as of right now they are not in danger,” Sutter County Undersheriff Scott Smallwood told The Sacramento Bee. “It was just a precaution.”

At about 11.15am, police said the fire was under control.

“The fire at the Diamond Walnut Growers facility is currently contained,” the Sutter County Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook. “If possible please avoid the area as fire crews are still conducting cleanup.”

As of Friday afternoon, no injuries or deaths had been reported. Authorities said the walnut plant is no longer used, and was vacant at the time of the fire.

Photos and videos shared on social media showed the factory completely engulfed in flames, with a huge plume of smoke towering over it.

Authorities have not yet made any announcements about the cause of the fire.

On Facebook, Sutter County’s Office of Emergency Management urged people to stay away from the scene.

“HWY99 in Live Oak is still closed,” the agency said on Facebook. “We are actively working on a plan to get it reopened! Thank you for your continued support in avoiding the area allowing us to work.”

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