redwood city fire
A fire at a metal scrap yard near Redwood City prompted poor air quality and an unpleasant smell as far away as Berkeley. Photo: Redwood City Fire/Twitter

The metallic smell in the Berkeley air this morning was caused by a fire in a metal recycling yard near Redwood City, according to the Berkeley Fire Department.

A shelter-in-place advisory was issued for three counties, including Alameda, on Sunday as a result of the fire’s impact on air quality across the Bay Area.

The fire at the  Sims Metal Management facility on Seaport Road near the Port of Redwood City began on Sunday, Nov 10 in a pile of metal scraps at about 1 p.m., according to the San Francisco Chronicle. More than 50 firefighters battled the blaze before putting it out at 6:10 a.m today, according to the Redwood City Fire Department.

The shelter-in-place advisory was also lifted this morning, although smoky air and a toxic odor was still being seen and smelt by many local residents after that time. Andrea Hirsig emailed to say she could smell a “burning plastic smell” all the way from Richmond to Berkeley. On Twitter many readers across the city, and also in San Francisco, said they could smell a burning or metallic odor. Barb Finney said she could smell “something chemical-ish outside in [the] Berkeley Hills.”

At around 11:15 a.m. Berkeley Fire Department’s Duty Chief said the odor that had reached Berkeley was dissipating.

As always, Berkeleyside welcomes your reports and photos of what you are experiencing.

This story was updated as new information emerged.

Solano County fire blankets Berkeley with smoke (10.04.13)

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...