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February 2, 2023

Giant scrap pile catches fire in Hollister

No structures damaged in RJR Recycling blaze

Local firefighters spent the night battling a massive scrap wood fire in Hollister Sunday, according to authorities.

The Hollister Fire Department responded to RJR Recycling, 1771 San Felipe Road, on a report of a fire at 9:47pm May 2, according to Battalion Chief Charlie Bedolla. A large pile of scrap wood products—about 150-by-150 feet in size—had caught ablaze on the northeast end of the recycling facility.

The blaze was under control “in a few hours,” but firefighters were at the scene about 11 hours keeping watch and cleaning up, Bedolla said. The fire did not result in any structure damage or injuries.

The Hollister Fire Department sent five fire engines, one water tender and four battalion chiefs to the blaze, Bedolla said. The North Monterey County Fire District sent an engine to Hollister to cover any other incidents while the local crews were working the RJR Recycling fire.

Bedolla added that firefighters gained some help from some RJR employees on site, who used the company’s heavy equipment to break up the burning pile of wood.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Bedolla said employees of the facility who had left work earlier in the evening reported they did not see any smoke or signs of fire.

An employee who answered the phone at RJR Recycling Monday said the facility is still open but is temporarily not accepting non-recyclable garbage due to the fire. The employee added that company staff do not know the cause of the fire, and they are working with Hollister Fire Department in their investigation.

Hollister firefighters spent Sunday night and Monday early morning battling a scrap pile fire at RJR Recycling in north Hollister. Photos: Chris Mora
Hollister firefighters spent Sunday night and Monday early morning battling a scrap pile fire at RJR Recycling in north Hollister. Photos: Chris Mora
Hollister firefighters spent Sunday night and Monday early morning battling a scrap pile fire at RJR Recycling in north Hollister. Photos: Chris Mora
Hollister firefighters spent Sunday night and Monday early morning battling a scrap pile fire at RJR Recycling in north Hollister. Photos: Chris Mora
Hollister firefighters spent Sunday night and Monday early morning battling a scrap pile fire at RJR Recycling in north Hollister. Photos: Chris Mora
Michael Moore
Michael Moore is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for the Morgan Hill Times, Hollister Free Lance and Gilroy Dispatch since 2008. During that time, he has covered crime, breaking news, local government, education, entertainment and more.

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