Burning smell in the Twin Cities? It's probably the Becker recycling plant fire

The fire broke out in the early hours of the morning, and has sparked concerns over air quality.
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The fire that broke out at a recycling plant in the early hours of Tuesday morning has produced a burning odor that can be smelled across the Twin Cities metro.

The smell has sparked discussions on social media, with residents in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Little Canada, and Brooklyn Park among those noticing it.

The fire started at the Northern Metals Recycling site in Becker, to the northwest of the Twin Cities, at around 2:25 a.m.

It was mainly contained to an area of crushed vehicles, but has created a giant smoke plume that subsequently prompted concerns over air quality.

In an update around noon, the Becker Police Department said that it is working with Northern Metals to determine the air quality.

In the meantime, it's asking those with respiratory issues who live near the recycling center to stay indoors or in a well-ventilated area.

With the wind on Wednesday coming from the northwest, it's sent the plume towards the metro.

Roseville Fire Department was among those noting the smell, saying they believe it to be from the Becker fire.

Northern Metals Recycling was formerly based in North Minneapolis, where it operated a metal shredder.

However, it was ordered to shut down by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and told to move outside the Twin Cities metro. This came after heightened levels of particulate matter in the air near its facility, with the MPCA finding it to be a significant source of the pollution in the neighborhood.

It moved the metal shredder operation to Becker last summer.

Northern Metals' Minneapolis recycling center, about a mile south of the shredder, was also the scene of a major fire in December 2016.

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