Divison Chief Andrew Kellogg said firefighters responded to the fire burning at 20400 S. Tracy Boulevard at Sugar Road just before 3 p.m.
Crews found several compost piles burning, sending a thick column of smoke south toward Tracy.
The site belongs to Agra Marketing Group Tracy Storage Facility of Chico, according to the company website.
Kellogg said the department had three fire engines and one water truck fighting the fire. Another water tender was called to supply water to the engines, he said.
Front loaders and water trucks from the compost pile property owner were being used to break down the burning piles and move unburned compost material away from the flames.
Kellogg said the high winds “were creating havoc” by driving flames from one pile to the next.
He said the fire could burn anywhere from several hours or a few days.
California Highway Patrol cars blocked Sugar and Arbor roads due to the smoke. CHP dispatch reports said traffic on nearby Interstate 205 was slowed by visibility problems from the smoke.
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