SALINAS, Calif. (AP) — UPDATE (12:40 PM): Firefighters have contained a massive blaze at a Salinas food processing plant that prompted authorities to tell thousands of nearby residents to evacuate and to order tens of thousands more to stay inside their homes.
The fire at the Taylor Farms packaged salad plant in Salinas started Wednesday night. Authorities initially said they feared the fire could generate an explosion and a plume of hazardous ammonia. But the Salinas Fire Department said later that those threats appeared to be minimal.
About 2,700 people near the plant remain evacuated and 35,000 are being told to stay inside with windows closed.
Authorities say people living near a food processing plant in Salinas were asked to evacuate Thursday after officials said there is potential for an explosion and a hazardous plume of ammonia due to a massive fire that started overnight and is still burning.
The Monterey County Office of Emergency Services said in a statement that about 2,700 people were asked to leave the area around the Taylor Farms Processing Facility on Abbott Street. Another 35,000 people were asked to shelter in place.
Officials said residents in the area should shut windows and turn off ventilation systems immediately.
Some people evacuated Wednesday after firefighters responded to the fire around 7:15 p.m.