In a farming region like the Valley there's always the potential for an ag related explosion. Fresno Fire Chief Rob Brown says the Texas explosion is something his team thinks about daily.
The agriculture industry is a way of life in Fresno and the Valley. In many parts of the city it blends in so well that it goes unnoticed.
There's always the potential for disaster and Chief Brown says Fresno's two hazmat teams always have it on their radar. "We live with this stuff everyday and our people constantly research, study and make sure they're up on these types of things."
In Fresno County alone there are 2500 facilities that store hazardous materials. As for big fertilizer plants, that number is reduced to less than two dozen. Any business that works with hazardous materials is required to have an emergency response plan.
Director of environmental health for Fresno County David Pomaville says that state law dates back to 1985. "We inventory the materials and they're collected on electronic data bases and then made available to local fire officials."
Chief Brown says there are no incidents in Fresno or the Valley that come close to what happened in Texas. But he says it's never out of sight out of mind. "Our folks live with this everyday and they're on top of it. So this is stuff they think about everyday. It's now just been brought to the forefront. It will die off as soon as time goes by."
Fresno Fire has a mutual aid agreement so if disaster strikes beyond the city limits it's likely the hazmat team would respond.