Massive Fire at Portland, OR, Recycling Plant Difficult to Extinguish

April 19, 2024
The firefighting effort was challenging as there were no close hydrants and there were deep piles of wood debris burning.

Tanner Todd


A two-alarm fire engulfed a North Portland recycling facility on Thursday, sending smoke billowing over St. Johns.

Portland Fire & Rescue responded to the scene around 8:30 a.m. to find an outdoor pile of pallets and wood debris at Jopp Wood Recycling on fire, officials said.

Firefighters said finding a water supply to extinguish the flames was a challenge “due to the distance from the City of Portland hydrants and the private hydrants in the area.”

The Fire Bureau shut down North Lombard Street until early afternoon to pump in water from farther away, officials said.

Firefighters and employees at the recycling business worked together to contain the flames, officials said. Facility employees used heavy equipment and ground excavators to help dig a fire break, a ditch that is difficult for fires to cross, to stop the fire from spreading, according to officials.

An investigator is still working to determine the cause of the fire.

No one was injured and no buildings were damaged during the incident, officials said.


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