Wastewater storage tank goes up in flames near Greeley

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GREELEY, Colo. -- A black plume of smoke was seen pouring into Greeley Friday afternoon, and a wastewater storage tank fire was the cause. The fire burned for several hours before going out Friday night.

While a Greeley dispatch spokesperson did confirm crews were battling this blaze just east of the Greeley Airport, he was unable to confirm reports that an explosion preceded the fire and that this all may have been caused by a lightning strike.

The tank that ignited is near Weld County road 64 and 47, which is about seven miles northeast of the center of Greeley. It's close to the Greeley-Weld County Airport.

This tank fire is near the site of an injection well where hydraulic fracturing wastewater is pumped into the ground. Trucks deposit wastewater in the tanks at this location at the end of the fracking process. The water contains some oil and gas which is what we suspect caused the fire to burn so ferociously. It's an area that was linked to earthquakes near Greeley in May and June last year.

Firefighters had the fire contained. It was in an area with a lot of open space around it.