SOCORRO, N.M. (June 29, 2000)—New Mexico fire and environmental officials contained a scrap tire fire that broke out June 17 at a tire recycling plant along U.S. Route 60 in Socorro.
The fire burned for eight days before approximately 100 firefighters brought it under control, according to Socorro Fire Chief Robert Brunson. Southwest Tire Processors, which converts tires into chips for various end uses, operated the 10-acre site two miles southwest of Socorro.
No injuries were reported nor were any evacuations issued, he said. Officials are monitoring the site for any environmental damage, although no water runoff was generated because dirt was used to extinguish it, an Environmental Protection Agency spokesman said.
The cause still is being investigated, although witnesses reported that a transformer explosion above the plant sparked the blaze, Mr. Brunson said. Estimated cleanup costs are between $150,000 and $170,000, which Southwest Processors will be responsible to pay, the spokesman said.