A flare-off at the Chevron oil refinery in El Segundo sent an enormous plume of black smoke billowing above the city Monday morning, fire officials said.
El Segundo fire officials responded to the refinery in the 300 block of El Segundo Boulevard about 7:30 a.m.
Initially, the department called for assistance from the Manhattan Beach and Los Angeles fire departments, but canceled that response once firefighters arrived at the refinery and realized the incident was a controlled burn, said El Segundo Fire Department Battalion Chief Breck Slover.
Slover said the refinery lost power this morning and initiated the flare as a safety measure to burn off their product so it didn’t back up in their system and pose a hazard.
“It’s a common occurrence, but this happened to be a pretty big one,” he said.
The dark plume, near Los Angeles International Airport, could be seen across the Los Angeles Basin and caused worry among some morning commuters.
8:55 a.m.: This article was updated with comments from Slover.
This article was originally published at 8:10 a.m.