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Massive fire in Richmond, B.C., sends smoke across Metro Vancouver

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Towering black smoke filled the evening sky in Richmond, B.C., on Thursday after an industrial fire was sparked near the River Rock Casino.

Richmond firefighters extinguished the warehouse portion of the blaze and then fought the flames on the trestle bridge across the north arm of the Fraser River, near the Oak Street Bridge, until 5 a.m. Friday, with assistance from Vancouver Fire Rescue's fire boat.

"We still have a presence on scene as we identify and extinguish hot spots before starting the fire investigation," Richmond Fire-Rescue assistant deputy chief Grant Wyenberg said.

"The terrain and the materials involved have made for a very challenging fire to extinguish completely."

The Oak Street Bridge was temporarily closed and the Vancouver International Airport says operations were not impacted.

"From the smell, and from the nature of the bridge and the age of the bridge, I would suspect there's some creosote on the bridge," Wyenberg added.

On Friday morning, water was being sprayed on the charred bridge with the ashes still smouldering.

The Metro Vancouver Regional District issued an air quality bulletin and said it is monitoring data from stations located throughout the region.

The district said in an update on the social media platform X that air quality has improved and it will issue an update to end the bulletin.

The district's air quality map shows the area around the now-extinguished blaze near the Oak Street Bridge on the north arm of the Fraser River is ranked at level two of 10, indicating "low risk."

With files from The Canadian Press 

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