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Huge fire breaks out at Stockton lumberyard. Over 15,000 PG&E customers lose power

This is the huge fire at Stockton lumberyard

A massive fire broke out overnight at a Stockton lumberyard and was still raging Tuesday morning, April 23, 2019, with flames and smoke plumes visible from nearby highways.
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A massive fire broke out overnight at a Stockton lumberyard and was still raging Tuesday morning, April 23, 2019, with flames and smoke plumes visible from nearby highways.

A massive fire broke out overnight and destroyed a Stockton lumberyard Tuesday, sending up flames and smoke plumes that were visible from nearby highways.

The large fire broke out in an industrial lumberyard in the 200 block of West Scotts Avenue, and it has knocked out power in the area and required traffic control, the Stockton Police Department said.

Stockton Firefighters Local 456 reported on Twitter that the fire was a six-alarm blaze and a fire official said that at least one firefighter suffered minor injuries.

According to an outage map on the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. website, more than 15,000 customers throughout Stockton were without power Tuesday morning. PG&E spokeswoman Brandi Merlo tweeted that power was de-energized for safety and that it will be restored “when it is safe to do so.”

Merlo said about 3,000 customers remained without power as of 2 p.m.

The San Joaquin Sheriff’s Office said in a tweet that Stockton’s courthouse was closed until further notice due to the power outage.

Stockton Unified School District in a social media post Tuesday morning said all schools would be operating on their regular schedule under the district’s power outage protocols. The prolonged outage also forced the relocation of Stockton Unified’s school board meeting to the Chavez High School Auditorium.

The lumberyard is near the interchange of Interstate 5 and Highway 4. Multiple videos posted to social media by early-morning commuters showed the fire raging from each freeway.

The blaze came several hours after Stockton Fire Department crews fought a three-alarm fire Monday night at a recycling center in the Port of Stockton. Stockton Firefighters Local 456 said that fire “depleted many resources from the City of Stockton limits,” and that Monday’s windy conditions presented a challenge.

Crews with Sacramento Metro Fire District, the Sacramento Fire Department and the Cosumnes Community Services District Fire Department have responded to assist the Stockton Fire Department, Metro Fire said.

Power companies have a detailed plan for restoring power after storms. A first step is making sure power isn't flowing through downed lines. Restoration the kicks in based on established priorities. Here's a look.

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Michael McGough anchors The Sacramento Bee’s breaking news reporting team, covering public safety and other local stories. A Sacramento native and lifelong capital resident, he interned at The Bee while attending Sacramento State, where he earned a degree in journalism.


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