OAKLAND (CBS SF) — A fire ignited in the massive Schnitzer Steel scrap yard along the Oakland Estuary Saturday afternoon, sending a plume of black smoke towering in the sky that was visible along San Francisco’s waterfront.

Oakland fire officials said they received a call about 4 p.m. reporting the blaze at the facility that offloads scrap metal onto freighters for shipment to Asia.

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Fire officials had called over to the neighboring Alameda Fire Department and San Francisco Fire Department asking for their waterboats to help battle the blaze.

By 6 p.m., the fire was under control and the thick black smoke plume had disappeared. Authorities said the blaze had been contained to a pile of recycling roughly measuring 50 feet by 100 feet.

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The plant has had trouble with fires in the past. Blazes erupted in its scrap piles in January 2010 and April 2009.