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.

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.

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

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