WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS/AP) – A mulch fire at a recycling facility near the Port of Wilmington is sending billowing clouds of black smoke into the air.

Authorities say the blaze broke out at the facility on Christiana Avenue on Sunday afternoon and winds are fanning the flames.

Wilmington deputy fire chief Al Heulsenbeck says the blaze is sending a large amount of smoke out over the Delaware River, but it is not affecting the city. Firefighters are battling flames fanned by strong winds, spreading the blaze from one 15-to-30-foot pile of mulch and pallets to the next.

A port spokeswoman says the blaze is not affecting operations at the port.

As of 7:45 pm, and for an extended period of time, Christiana Avenue from “A” Street to Terminal Avenue is closed. Authorities say it will take about 24 hours to extinguish the blaze.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The AssociatedPress contributed to this report.)

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