Bonzi fire contained, allowed to burn out

Rather than taking an aggressive approach with a fire at a Hatch Road landfill in southwest Modesto, firefighters mostly let the fire burn itself out Thursday.

The fire reported Wednesday evening burned for more than 20 hours at Rudy Bonzi Industrial Waste at 2650 W. Hatch Road.

The Burbank Paradise Fire District, assisted by four other agencies, worked to battle the fire within the confines of the waste facility. By Thursday morning, firefighters had contained the blaze to a pile of construction debris.

Fire officials let the wood material smolder for most of Thursday, as a bulldozer picked away at the pile and a single engine doused the debris.

"I was advised by other agencies that we would just spend a lot of resources if we tried to put it out," said Mike Hillar, assistant chief for Burbank Paradise.

The smoke was blowing to the southeast, away from nearby homes, so "it isn't a health issue," he said.

Stanislaus County Fire Warden Gary Hinshaw said that standard procedure was followed in dealing with the landfill fire. Investigators were trying to determine the cause of the fire.

Bee staff writer Ken Carlson can be reached at or 578-2321.