Black smoke from refinery is non-emergency, officials say
Black smoke billowing into the sky in the Wilmington area Saturday afternoon was the result of a non-emergency flaring operation at the Conoco Phillips Refinery and did not require a response from fire personnel, according to Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey.
The smoke could be seen throughout the area, prompting calls from concerned residents.
Betsy Brien, a spokeswoman for Phillips 66, which operates the refinery, said the plant "had a complete loss of power" and the refinery had been shut down.
Brien said the smoke was the result of "some product left in the line," adding that there was “nothing to worry about.”
Long Beach resident Deborah Schoch, a former Times staff writer, was one of those who saw the smoke.
"People on the beach here have been speculating that it's a ship or oil tank," she wrote in an email.
-- Ann M. Simmons
Photo: Smoke billows from the Conoco Phillips Refinery in Wilmington. Credit: Eddy W. Hartenstein / Los Angeles Times