Recycling materials catch fire outside plant near Taylor


TAYLOR, Texas (KXAN) — A large fire burned Friday at a recycling plant between Taylor and Hutto, officials said. At least two firefighters were hurt while battling the flames.

The fire was in the back of the Balcones Resources recycling plant located at 9801 Chandler Rd. Multiple agencies fought the fire burning recycling materials outside the building, Taylor city officials said.

Balcones Resources told KXAN everyone is safe, and it’s working with the fire department to contain the fire.

In an update around 6 p.m., the Taylor Fire Department said the fire was “mostly extinguished,” with the exception of flames remaining in deep-seated debris piles.

Construction equipment will help remove the debris, and firefighters will continue to work to put out the fire completely before winds pick up Friday night.

Taylor FD said two firefighters, one from Taylor and the other from Jarrell, were hurt and taken to the hospital. The Taylor firefighter has been released.

People should stay clear of the area. It’s also affecting traffic on nearby roads. Chandler Road from Farm to Market Road 660 to County Road 101 is closed.

Fred Lake, who’s lived in the area for three years, said it’s usually windy in the area but especially on Friday. He said he’s seen the smoke of the fire change over the past few hours.

“First it started out real, real black. Then it starts turning white, then it hits another pocket and turns real black again and flames start shooting out,” he said.

Friday’s weather is unseasonably warm with temperatures creeping toward 80 degrees, and winds are expected to pick up later in the day when a front blows through.

  • First responders head toward a fire at a recycling plant between Taylor and Hutto on Jan. 14, 2022. (KXAN Photo/Grace Reader)
  • A large fire broke out at a recycling plant between Taylor and Hutto on Jan. 14, 2022. (KXAN Photo/Grace Reader)
  • First responders head toward a fire at a recycling plant between Taylor and Hutto on Jan. 14, 2022. (KXAN Photo/Grace Reader)
  • A fire broke out Jan. 14, 2022 in the back of the Balcones Resources recycling plant near Taylor, Texas. (Courtesy: Tracy Scaparra)

Balcones Resources told KXAN there was also a fire at its U.S. Highway 290 location last Thursday evening.

Burn ban in effect for Williamson County

At least two other fires sparked Friday afternoon in Williamson County near Florence and Hutto.

In response to the fires, Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell declared a local state of disaster Friday. The order prohibits outdoor burning in all unincorporated areas of the county.

Smoking in and/or on Williamson County parks, preserves and trails is also banned due to dry vegetation, wind and an “imminent threat of severe damage.”

Under the order, you CANNOT:

  • Burn any combustible material outside of an enclosure made to contain all flames and/or sparks
  • Burn household yard waste, such as leaves, grass,  brush and other yard trimmings
  • Burn to clear land of trees, stumps, shrubbery or other natural vegetation

It’s considered a criminal offense if anyone disobeys the order. Violators could be fined up to $1,000 or even be jailed.

The order is in effect for at least seven days and can be lifted by Gravell if conditions improve.

This is a developing story; stick with KXAN for updates.





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