WHITE CITY, Ore. — Just before 5:00 p.m. Tuesday evening, multiple agencies responded to fire at Bio Mass One in White City, blocking off Avenue G and sending smoke through the sky.
It was a familiar scene for Tery Jenkins of White City. “I’ve seen a couple of them that have ignited, but nothing this big, this is a big one,” Jenkins said.
Thick smoke billowed from the same pile at the Bio Mass One plant, which caught fire Saturday. Fire officials say Tuesday’s fire could be a carryover from the weekend.
“The pile is so big that it contains the heat, it can’t escape so that it actually starts smoldering inside, then it finds passage ways to get out of the pile and as soon as it hits air, then it ignites and it spreads across the surface of the pile” explained Fire District 3 Fire Marshall Hugh Holden.
Fire District 3, Medford Fire, The Oregon Department of Forestry and The Fire Department at the Medford Airport all sent crews to the scene. Fire officials said Tuesday afternoon’s winds were a factor in the fire getting out of control.