The raging wharf fire in Wilmington that resulted in shutting down of all container terminals at the Port of Los Angeles has been more than 90 percent contained, the port authorities said in a statement yesterday.
The fire broke out after a welding accident on Monday evening, igniting the 800-foot-long wharf.
As explained by the port spokesman Phillip Sanfield, a few thousand employees, mostly longshore workers, were sent home Tuesday.
The neighbouring Long Beach harbour was also shut down amid health concerns caused by the smoke from the fire.
“Earlier Tuesday, smoke from that fire led terminals closest to the Port of Los Angeles, at Long Beach’s Pier T, Pier A and Pier F to close for the day shift today.
Three terminals at the Port of Long Beach that had closed for the day shift Tuesday, Sept. 23, due to smoke from the fire at the neighboring Port of Los Angeles are reopening for the evening shift beginning at 6 p.m,” the Port of Long Beach said.
Port of Los Angeles environmental officials have been monitoring air quality levels on an hourly basis since the start of the fire.
The South Coast Air Quality Management District has also taken air quality samples in the area. Both agencies agree that air quality conditions are safe for residents and for a return to work in the area.
The Port of Los Angeles said that air monitoring stations will continue to monitor samples in the area.
The terminals at the Port of Los Angeles resumed full operations Tuesday evening, September 23 at 6 p.m.
“Only the Pasha terminal at Berth 177, the location of the fire, will remain closed. Nearby Yusen Terminals International will reopen at 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning,” the yesterday’s statement read.
“I’d like to thank the brave men and women from several agencies that are doing an extraordinary job keeping Harbor Area residents and workers safe while preventing further damage from this stubborn fire,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka.