WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — Fire crews have begun moving closer to the site of the ongoing Weaver Fertilizer Plant fire for the first time since Monday evening.
The Winston-Salem Fire Department Twitter shared a video of helmet camera footage of firefighters returning to the site at the Weaver Fertilizer Plant.
The haze of smoke is thick in the footage.
Early Thursday morning, officials offered an update, saying that the rain had done a lot to help put out the fire but had also driven smoke down closer to the ground.
Smoke and runoff continue to be an issue in Winston-Salem, prompting school closures and water advisories.
Officials provided an update on the status of the fire at 2 p.m. Thursday.
Winston-Salem Fire Chief Trey Mayo said an ammonium nitrate expert is helping the fire department.
The bulk of the ammonium nitrate has been cooled on the scene of the fire, so firefighters began working to cool the rest of the product in the charred facility.
Mayo says they’ve been successful.
“We were able to place two unstaffed ground monitors. They each flow about 500 gallons a minute on those piles, and they flowed overnight…and were successful in cooling the piles,” Mayo said.
Anyone within a mile from the plant should still expect to see smoke and haze in the area as firefighters continue to work through the week on the scene.
People with respiratory conditions are urged to be cautious.
“Residents in the area and downwind from the plant should expect over the next several days to see…an ebb and flow in that production of products of combustion,” Mayo said.