WHITE CITY, Ore. – The Biomass One plant in White City caught fire a couple of times last month, sending smoke into the skies of White City. Now, Biomass crews are working around the clock to shorten the fuel pile where both bark fires began.
On the Biomass property, crews have spent the last few days knocking down what used to be an old warehouse. They’re planning to use this property for additional fuel piles. The additional fuel piles will only be 25 feet high, which is much shorter than the pile that caught fire twice last month. At the time of the fire, the pile stood 108 feet high.
Fire District Three works closely with the plant to keep fuel fires under control and their tallest water ladder truck only reaches 105 feet high giving them a disadvantage during the response. The plant shut down for a few months this summer and didn’t use any of the fuel, but kept taking inventory, pushing the pile’s height into triple digits.
“We don’t collect inventory in the winter so we have to get as much as we can during the summer, spring, and fall,” explained Fuels Manager David Allen.
Biomass crews reduced that pile down to 65 feet and plan to keep going. Crews are currently just sorting through all the materials in the rubble you see here. They hope to have this all cleared out and ready to go within the next few months.