tv NBC Bay Area News at 5 NBC October 15, 2019 5:00pm-5:28pm PDT
we see it almost out and once again it seems to be kicking up again. another concern is the air quality. that might be the primary concern there. in tw 2000 thousands of people were affected when the richmond facility caugh t peak of rush hour in both directions from highway 4 into vallejo. we can look at thetnow. i-80 closed all the way up past the the
control of this situation because it appears to die down and it flares up. all of this thick smoke is one of the things that emergency workers are really concerned about. there are folks here that caught up with a couple of them a short time ago. they have their canisters ou and their respirators and they were collecting air samples. they sid they would be taking the samplgs back to the lab in san francisco and couldn't tell me when they would get the results of those samples. this fire, this situation has been under way for four hours now. we have been out here upnd die down. smoke go up, die down. it's still going. i talked to and asked the information officer for contra costa fire a little while ago how long we can expect this to continue. l let's hear what he had to say. >> it was a lot of fuel in
tanks. there's still plenty left to burn. one of the things we're concerned about is the structural integrity of those burning tanks. we have had one collapse earlier in the afternoon which caused the fire to flare up. we can't predict whether that to the remain tanks or not but at this point it's impossible to predict how long the fires may burn. >> reporter: okay. no timeline on how long the situation will last out here. at about 3:00 this afternoon i'm told one of the structures, one of the tanks collapsed. it's causing a whole other situation. they are worried more tanks could follow suit, could do the same. again, the public information officer told us the three tanks that are burning or have burned contained various levels of ethanol. one of them contained 167,000 gallons of ethanol and earlier
today i talked on the phone to chief environmental officer of acntra costa county. t tank contained gasoline and jet fuel. definitely a lot of concern. there's a possibility of more explosions out here and we just don't know how long this is going to last. i also just caught up a few minutes ago with somebody from the california highway patrol and as you know highway 80 is now closed in both directions. he said he was hoping that the highway would re-open sooner rather than later but he's trying to get some more information and headaches for eveningust don't know if its safe or not for them to re-open or if they will have to get more emergency trucks or gear out here and as you can see the smoke is flaring up and that could go right into the freeway.
nopefully we'll hopefully we'll be getting an update on when it might re-open. reporting live, i'm jodi hernandez, back to you guys. >> thank you so much. we want to take you to the air again. the traffic impacts of this fire at this storage facility just heavily impacted. 80 shutdown in both directions. a lot of people are taking the martinez bridge and being rerouted to 780 and 680. that's jam packed right now. traffic barely mggh the walnut creek pleasant hill concord area. highway 4 is moving. 80 is shut down be both directions. it's all red right there going in the westbound direction. people tryin get around.
that's your only option to get to the concord walnut creek still generating a lot of black smoke. all afternoon the wind s have been very low. most of the black smoke going straight up into the air and not blowing east or blowing west. they kind of contained the shelter in place to just the cro crockett area. >> these are live pictures now. this is happening right now from our nbc bay area sky ranger. as we pull out you can see the bottom of your screen is interstate 80. it's very rare we see 80 shutdown in both directions. it's eerie toee that. i-80 is closed in both
directions. you can see how close she was. she was on the shoulder of westbound 80 and seemed like was the actual fire scene and this is the new star energy plant there. >> what's going on? i know they are sheltering the place. is the school out? >> reporter: they are. the say situation going on in jodi's location is right here. they are taking air samples at various locations in students were on a kn now we have student s in place possibly waiting for another bus to arrive. officials wanting to make sure they have an organized evacuation for the students. now let's take a look at our vantage point and what we see as far as this thick, black smoke going into the air.
when we were here, it looked like it was calming down. >> we lost our audio feed from cheryl. we'll get back to her in a few moments. passing along information from crock crockett high school. we talked about throughout the afternoon, you came on the air around 2:00 p.m. and it was an inferno. about 4:45 it went down to almost a non-event in terms of the flames and now again the thick, black smoke. we talked about this. what goes up, must come down. that's the concern for so many people, that might have respiratory problems. this would impact your lungs. >> when you shelter in place you close your window, your doors if you can. put rags underneath your door, wet rags to prevent any air from
coming in. the wind very weak at keeping the smoke iair. >> the particulate matter is so extremely fine. you can't see it with the eye if you were to get up close to it. that's what you could be breathing in. getting stuck in your eye, your lungs. it's just going to make those issues worse. you really have to listen to these shelter in place orders. you can see the plume. it's kind of re-ignited yet again. there's the latest smoke plume. all of this black on the map is right over the fire location. 'sloft. we don't have strong winds at the surface so the smoke plume is able to gather up here in the upper levels and the upper level wind blowing it towards vallejo.
you can see the refinery fire. the way the wind is blowing, relatively light. gusts up to 10. we could get a little bit of that smoke around rodeo. we're starting to see air quality reports coming in. any one of these cities really have to watch it. the forecast tonight only gusts up to about 15 miles an hour, possible. we'll be dealing with the same kind of wind pattern that will keep likely some of this harmful par particulate matter. you're kind of nervous, i want to pinpoint some of these streets here for you. this is where you should be thinking about it. if you're confused about the shelter in place alert, you heard it was picked back up again. if you smell something, you see something unusual out there in the sky, you got to head inside and shelter in place.
some of the air quality reports showing you could be getting some of that particulate matter moving. doors and window closed. don't use fans. towels near the door seal. we'll continue this and track that wind for >> we'll be back in a few minutes. we're take our nbc bay area sky ranger live happening for more than three hours. it started around 1:50 this afternoon at points there were some raging flames. right now it's back down a few flames. we have seen this change is non-stop. it is burning ethanol which is an additive the fuel and
1:50 p.m. when witnesses heard loud explosions and booms. people in the area heard it and came out to see one storage tank on fire which then spread to another and now a third. this fire has been flaring up and dying down. probably three times and it's because of the structures of the tank. it caught a hillside on fire and 80 is shutdown. no traffic right there in the middle of your screen. 80 completely shutdown. >> relatively speaking their safety record is relatively
clean. relatively clean safety record here in california. they also have a facility down near long beach. cheryl, we lost you with audio issues. you're in the middle of your report where we saw some students behind you still remaining at the high school there. it's 5:15. a lot of students still on campus. >> reporter: that's right. there are still some students inside. we have been here for almost an hour and there was a bus load of students. ta a ohey are go id situation. there were no cars on there. there's a few cars on it right now. it looks like there may be some type of detour going on where we are standing. just like many jodi's location, here, county health firofficial are on scene taking air samples.
community warning sirens are going off letting people know about the potential serious health threat. you're looking at pictures we took at fifth and california in rodeo. best vantage point we've had so far when it was really active at that location. thick, black smoke, plumes in the air. people taking it upon and we ta to a few of the residents there all this way so i can see how far away it was. it was not doing that ten minutes ago. >> are you worried about air quality? >> now i'm thinking i'm going to take him and leave. it wasn't this bad. come here, jacob. it wasn't this bad a few minutes ago. >> reporter: people are worried about air quality because we are seeing people with masks on. even if they can't smell it, like jeff was saying that these
air particulates are so fine, you don't know what you're breathing in. people are taking the precautions. they have their masks on and coming to see what's going on. i saw a guy with his son and his dog talking to the air quality folks asking them how long this shelter in placeilheer in places been lifted in some areas, going down in other areas. this will be a long night for a lot of people here and people are just going to have to stay tuned and stay with nbc bay area to see what the next step will be. reporting live, i'm cheryl hurd. back to you. >> the sky is dark behind you. 'v water. they have automated sprinkler systems that have been on this
entire time because firefighters have taken a defensive approach and stayed back because they don't know if another tank will catch on fire and there could be another explosion. they can't guarantee that won't hope. air quality a big concern right now. they don't have sensors there. the county or bay area air quality management district. they don't have sensors at this location so they had to send employeesorad she's at the contra costa county environmental department. what you hearing there? >> reporter: we're here in concord about half an hour drive from rodeo and crockett where the situation is ongoing. i don't see any smoke in the air. when we were on the highway on our way here, my photographer and i we had our ac on blast and all of a sudden we kind of detected that something was off in the air. we could see some smoke billowing from that direction. right now we haven't heard from any of the health officials here.
obviously, the big question is what exactly is burning up in the air and this hascosta county health officials arego iide and or doors. turn off all air-conditioners and heaters. cover any cracks around windows and doors with tape or better yet damp towels. do not call 911 unless you have a life threatening emergency. obviously that fwoez for any emergency. we can imagine health officials are focusing on this issue. they are learning what is up in the air and obviously this is a huge concern for the people living in those areas. we're waiting to get an update for health officials here at contra costa county. back to wit you later on. let's go back to our nbc bay
area sky ranger. you see some flames there. flames in the last three hours. it appears it looks like snow there in the surrounding areas. that is actually some of the foam that firefighters have used to extinguish this fire. what appears to be snow is the foam. the foam brings up another issue about the type of foam that firefighters are using and if it's dangerous in terms of the air quality and what it does in terms o w questions we'll ask fire officials as well as follow up questions if this was linked in any way to the earthquake a few miles ago, the epicenter from last night. as of right now the early indication there's no link pr last night's earthquake but a lot of follow up questions as we watch the flames continue to burn. >> very lengthy investigation is under way according to the contra costa fire department. jodi hernandez has been right there next to the fire this entire afternoon. you just got an update about
interstate 80, we hear. >> reporter:e california highway patrol. he says they are in close communication with contra costa fire looking at the current conditions. we're just going to pan down and let you see what is happening here behind us with these storage tanks. contra costa is keeping them informed about what they are doing and based on that the california highway patrol just told me they do not expect highway 80 to re-open for another six hours. that puts us at about 11:20 tonight. another six hours from now. that's based on what they are hearing from the fire officials here with contra costa county fire, with cal fire.
reconvening at 6:00 tonightreev. it's not 100% something, it's not 100% in stone that this is going to remain closed for another six hours. for right now if you take this route, you should plan rerouting. take another route home because this highway could be closed for quite some time. another six hours potentially, 11:30 tonight. possibly midnight. reporting live, i'm jodi hernandez, that's the latest. back to you. >> that's a major take away there. while we have you, if we can go back, just give us an idea how close she is to i-80. back to h
moment. let's turn things over to chris. talking abohe numbers and the social nemedia and the pictures we're seeing. >> let's talk about what jodi was talking about. here is the live traffic map. the more red there is, the more of a mess there is. it's true that chp is monitoring this in realtime. this is chp airplane. you can see it's been circling and circling. they are keeping a live look at the situation from the areas. they make really important decisions about whether to re-open this east/west artery. back to the traffic you can see the red extending both directions from the section of 80 that is shutdown and then the alternate routes are also red every which direction. whether people are trying to go northbound or southbound. looks l s traffic is on 37 as people are trying to head to the west. looks good on 580. as you hit 37 it's just slow
going all the way through. that's the nightmare people are dealing with right now. people started tweeting video of what they were able to see. look at this. this is a view that appears to8. this is the view people were seeing as they were driving. based on the location of the map this is somebody headed westbound on 80 looking to the right. you can see the fire and smoke just erupting from those tanks of the nustar facility. fast forward a little while and people are seeing intersections nearby where it's beginning to billow into the air. people are seeing it from their backyards, most certainly and being concerned. look at this one. you can see the density of the smoke and the definition of the clouds as it billows. look at the size of thatoke.
we quite lucky in a sense the winds aren't blowing too much. it could make for a worst situation. we'll keep an eye on this and let you know when we have something new. >> thank you so much. a lot of pictures coming in from all over the bay area. you can sky ranger over the sea of thce about 1:50 p.m. you can see it's dissipating again. firefighters will let this fire burn itself out. that's how they will fight this fire. their main concern is to prevent other storage tanks that contain jet fuel and gas from catching on fire. that's their plan.
of course, to prevent the fire from spreading to the nearby brush again. that's their plan of attack because this aro fire. they will staying back and we have lots of news. not just the facility fire that broke out. we also had an earthquake. this happened earlier today at 4 4.7 magnitude earthquake. this happened just afteroo are >> this is from last night's earthquake. this is the one around 10:30 last night where we felt everything jolt from the east bay from san jose to san francisco. it was a bay area wide event and not just the event but the intensity that we felt last night. >> two separate earthquakes. this one last night, a 4.5 and one a 4.7 today.r:hey know what
shaking means and know they neet looking back at her surveillance video. she had one customer when she said the shelves started moving. the video shows them running out of the store when it started shaking. the woman was worried some of her heavier bottles would come crumbling down. they kind of doing a custom earthquake here. even the schools had to jump into earthquake mode once it started shaking. >> said to sit under the desk. sometimes later the fire alarm rang and we get closet and go to basketball
area. >> reporter: there were quite a few efforts here in aftershocks. >> okay. thank you. last night a lot of people felt it. this afternoon not a lot of people felt it. we'll go back to our other breaking news story we have been covering. again, we said this about an hour ago, it appears that this fire is out. this is in crockett at the energy facility there. however, we said that an hour ago and it came up again. it's not over until it's over. >> firefighters are going to stay on the scene until this fire is completely out. the bad news, 80 is going to be shutdown. i-80 shutdown in both direction latest update from the chp. bad news there. islready jammed up across the bridge through
concord. >> we're expecting another briefing from cal fire in about a minute from now. we'll have that at nbcbayarea.com. for now we'll send it over the nightly news and lester holt. breaking news tonight. the major power shift in syria russian forces on patrol, filling the void left by the u.s. withdrawal new video from an american base, apparently deserted. tonight vice president mike pence preparing for a critical trip to turkey, as that country's leader responds to president trump's demand for a ceasefire. also breaking, president trump's personal attorney rudy giuliani defying a subpoena in the impeachment inquiry. late word vice president pence also won't comply.iuani privately testifying, and democrats facing off in tonight's debate as joe biden's son breaks his silence on the ukraine