RICHMOND (CBS SF) — Toll takers were back to work at the busy Richmond San Rafael Bridge early Wednesday as the region began to recover from an overnight shelter in place ordered after black clouds billowed skyward from a scrap metal yard fire.

Crews remained at the scene of the fire early Wednesday at the Sims Metal Management at 600 South Fourth Street, extinguishing hot spots.

Capt. Rico Rincon said the blaze was first reported at 5:08 p.m. at the scrap metal facility. The fire ignited in a pile of scrap metal about 20-feet high and sent a thick cloud of black smoke over the nearby neighborhoods.

Richmond Fire Department said tests showed the air quality was unhealthy and unsafe. A shelter in place was issued Tuesday night for an area that spanned from 23rd Street to Harbour Way and Wright Avenue to Ohio Avenue.

It was later extended to Atchison Village and the Iron Triangle in North Richmond.

The Richmond Fire Department tweeted out about the fire at about 5:45 p.m.

richmond smoke Richmond Junk Yard Fire Shelter In Place Lifted

Smoke from fire at Richmond scrap yard (Gretchen Donart/@gbdonart)

Residents were advised to stay inside, close windows and doors. The fire department also asked residents to turn off all heaters, air conditioners and fans.

The fire department also encouraged residents to close fireplace dampers that are not being used and vents, cover cracks around doors or windows with tape or damp towels.

The Contra Costa County Hazardous Materials Incident Response Team monitored the air quality in the area throughout the night.

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