VANCOUVER -- Smoke from a massive fire at a recycling plant in Richmond Saturday evening could be seen from as far away as the North Shore.

Social media users posted photos of the smoke plume from their vantage points, speculating as to where exactly the fire was burning.

Video from the scene shows the fire burning at 15360 Knox Way, at a recycling and material recovery facility called GFL Environmental.

Richmond fire chief Cory Parker said the facility recycles plastic and metal and was up in flames when the fire crew arrived.

“There was nobody inside, according to the owners. The (workers) … had left for the day approximately three hours prior to our arrival,” he said.

A spokesperson for the City of Richmond said the call about the fire came in around 7:20 p.m. The fire department said that 40 firefighters attended the scene.

Parker said the fire was challenging because the recycled material was stored in large, heavy bales, that workers would otherwise be moving around with machinery.

“Once they start on fire, it’s hard to get inside them,” he said.

“At the back of the facility, with the help of the business, they’re tearing the bales apart and we’re able to get the fires out.”

“It’s heavily involved work to use the machinery breaking them apart,” Parker added.

No injuries were reported according to Parker, and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.