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Smoke Rises From Large Burn-Off at El Segundo Refinery

A tower of smoke from the refinery burn off could be seen from several South Bay communities

A flare-off at the El Segundo Refinery produced a column of smoke that could be seen Monday morning from around the South Bay.

Firefighters are monitoring the Chevron refinery flare-off, a pressure safety procedure used in the petroleum industry, and said there is "no immediate threat to the community." Social media users posted video and images of the smoke and the NBC4 newsroom received several calls about the flare-up.

The flare burns off excess gas as part of the refinery process. There is a pilot light on top of the refinery's stack that burns, allowing the flare-off to begin when needed.

El Segundo Fire Department Battalion Chief Breck Slover said the refinery lost power and initiated the burnoff, or "flare'' procedure. 

"It's a common occurrence, but this happened to be a pretty big one," Slover said.

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