Why Do All These Food Facilities Keep Catching Fire?

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By the author of The Faithful Prepper and  The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications.

Fire seems to be the buzzword of the day as America continues to witness fire after fire within its food production facilities. This comes right on the heels of a ban on the exportation of Russian fertilizer, numerous fertilizer plant fires within America, and a chicken problem we’re facing in the US.

But fire? Why do they keep popping up within American food infrastructure? What are we seeing there?

Here are a few the fires we’ve seen so far just this past four months…

(To the best of our ability, these dates are accurate. They may be within 1-2 days of the actual event due to differences in reporting.)

February 3 – In Clovis, New Mexico, the Gavilon Grain Elevator suffered an explosion. While it was said that the “cause of the fire at this time is unknown and will be under investigation,” it is thought that this was caused by grain dust accumulating in a part of the welding of some ductwork and catching fire.

February 4 – A fire decimated a portion of Wisconsin River Meats, a plant that specializes in sausages. It was later said that “the old portion of the plant is a total loss.”


February 18 – In Claypool, Indiana, the Louis Dreyfus Co. soy processing and biodiesel plant caught fire. There was no known cause of the fire at the time.

February 22 – The Shearer’s Foods potato chip plant in Hermiston, Oregon, caught fire after a portable boiler fueled by natural gas exploded. As of February 25, there were fears that the plant could be shut down permanently. This plant supplied much of the West Coast with potato chip products, was Shearer’s only operation on the West Coast, and the fire caused the nearby Union Pacific railroad to be forced to shut down for a number of hours.

March 15 – Pilgrim’s Pride – a chicken processing facility – was shut down after a dangerous ammonia leak was detected. This apparently isn’t the first time this particular facility has had problems with ammonia gas leaks, however.

March 16 – The Hot Pockets production line at a Nestle facility in Jonesboro, Arkansas, experienced a fire (somebody must’ve bitten into one). It’s reported that a production line cooler caught fire in an area that wasn’t easily accessible.

Man eating Hot Pockets. (Just kidding. It’s a fire-blower guy.)

March 17 – The Conagra Grocery Products plant in Waterloo, Iowa, had a section of its conveying equipment catch fire. The fire was contained.

(Probably a good idea to start putting some extra food away, don’t you think? Check out our free QUICKSTART Guide to building a 3-layer food storage plan for advice.)

March 23 – The main Pepsi Co. distribution center in the Tri-State Area (the plant was in New Jersey) caught fire. The fire was caused externally, and nobody knows why it started, but there are reportedly no signs of arson.

According to local mayor Brian C. Wahler, “Let’s put it this way, if you see Mountain Dew on the shelf, my advice is buy it now. Because until the PepsiCo facility is able to redistribute nationally, this facility won’t be operational for a while because of smoke damage on the inside.”

March 24 – The Penobscot McCrum potato processing plant (goodness, it even SOUNDS like a potato processing plant) in Belfast, Maine, ended up with a particularly nasty fire.

April 1 – The Rio Fresh onion packing facility in San Juan, Texas, caught fire. The fire was described as “massive.”

April 8 – Milk Specialties Global in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, suffered a chlorine gas leak after chemicals were mixed that caused nearby railway traffic to be stopped for several hours. (Okay, not a fire, but still worth noting.)

April 11 – The Western Sugar Cooperative in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, suffered a turbine-caused fire. There are differing reports on whether it was started by an explosion or not. According to one of the executives of the company, however, “It was not an explosion, but a small fire that was extinguished quickly.”

It was also said that “quite a bit of damage” was caused, and the cause of the fire is still being investigated.

April 12 – The East Conway Beef and Pork facility, a meat processing center in Conway, New Hampshire, caught fire. Pictures seem to indicate it was a total loss.

April 14 – The Ainsworth Pet Nutrition facility in Vernon Township, Pennsylvania, caught fire after product clogged a section of steel pipes attached to the milling equipment and started a fire.

April 14 – Taylor Farms, a Salina, California food processing plant, caught fire. Over 35,000 people within the surrounding area (a key agricultural region of California) were ordered to shelter in their homes as there were fears that a deadly ammonia cloud could be released by the fire.

April 20 – In Leoti, Kansas, a fertilizer plant caught fire. There’s not a lot of detail out on this as of yet.

What’s the deal with all these fires?

America is a big nation. Are these just typical events that we’re now hyper-focusing on? You find what you’re looking for, after all. But with everything going on at the moment – with all the warnings of a global famine on the way and the constant threat of America conventionally entering World War 3 – this all seems as if something apparent is going on.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Is this just business as usual, or is there something more afoot (for at least some of these)? Let us know what you’re thinking in the comments below.

The only bugs I want to eat.

About Aden

Aden Tate is a regular contributor to TheOrganicPrepper.com and TheFrugalite.com. Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has three published books, The Faithful Prepper The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications, and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.

Aden Tate

Aden Tate

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  • Seems more that odd. I was wondering if these reports (I’ve seen various reports across the internet) were accurate. Did you look up these events and confirm them Aden?

    I always suggest action when you’re concerned. Planting potatoes seems prudent. I can live without Soda Pop and Potatoe chips but calories and nutrition I need. I’ve hidden potatoes in HOA flower beds just to be ornery and no one noticed as I described them to the curious by their Latin name Solanum tuberosum as a flowering nightshade.

    Food is a weapon favored by tyrants. Don’t be disarmed.

    • Brilliant! I love that you hid potatoes! I was thinking of a similar sweet potato mysterious takeover in my neighborhood

  • I live in Maine. I don’t think these things are coincidence because I will add two observations of my own, affecting Maine. 1. “Right to Food” law was recently passed, meaning that local organic farmers can sell directly to customers, government isn’t involved. This was a big deal this passed. Fast forward to January, “suddenly” a farm in Union gets tagged as having contaminated soil due to sludge being spread on it decades earlier. The state gets involved. Now the entire state’s organic farmers have a big problem with food contamination due to PFA’s. These farms are now shutting down and going bankrupt. Hmmmm. 2. Backyard chickens. Rules locally were relaxed so people could have backyard chickens in local cities (our cities are not really “cities” like NY is a city for example…anyway, I digress). “Suddenly” enter avian flu. So you have one sick bird and make the mistake of taking it to the local vet. If they identify avian flu the state has instructed them to come to your house and kill ALL your birds. Recently a couple had like 30 birds culled. That’s a lot! Hmmmm. I don’t think these fires, when listed as you list them, are a coincidence, especially since the potato farm in Belfast burning to the ground was a complete shock, and now 130 people are out of work indefinitely. Our governor is a complete communist, on the Chinese payroll. She recently approved sending most Mainers $850 checks. She’s up for re-election in November….hmmmm….just my observations…..

    • I live in Wisconsin and go to Maine for work a lot and I like it there because it seems like I am in Wisconsin, I never understood why the people there vote in such idiot politicians. I guess it’s like Wisconsin, Milwaukee and Madison are just filled with Socialist.

  • “Starve them out” isn’t that what Pelosi said? Control the food sources, control the people. They want you to be dependent on the Government. Easier to get the population into line. Midterms are coming! Distraction, distraction, distraction.

      • Time to take back what is rightfully ours and remove it from these evil, tyrannical dung that have been inflicting this upon the world, upon you and me. Upon children, the aged, and disabled. Are we going to continue to take it and sit back while they continue this, or stand up to it?

    • When did she say “starve them out,” and in what context? Reliable, legitimate sources, please. I don’t believe she ever said this. She’s said dumb things before, I agree, but not this. Prove it.

  • As to the chickens, consider how to hide local tiny-farm chickens. I hate Tyson Foods and avoid their chicken partly because it is unwholesomely raised, but also because there was a bird flu a couple decades ago and Tyson got all Singaporeans pet chickens killed.

    All this screeching about bird flu in 2022 is partly because enormous uncleaned barns of thousands of birds are indeed an epidemic risk. But ordering all members of PRIVATE flocks to be killed is NOT actually scientifically justifiable. The optimum strategy is let the disease burn itself out, leaving stronger flocks in its wake. You medicate sick individuals when it is economically feasible, so they recover.

    The real purposes of the overreaction are to eliminate competition so the super-rich get richer, to starve people into submission and gain more central control. To kill more humans, and to distract from the not-a-vaccine deaths so they can inject more arms.

    • Whole community needs to get together and maybe take a couple of chickens for their protection until the atrocities wear off.

  • While it’s difficult for me to feel sorry for Big Food, it is concerning that smaller operations are being targeted. Backyard poultry is being culled in Wisconsin for one sick bird and the crazy thing is, these birds are being sent for processing and sale to the consumer! Avian flu isn’t a problem when eating the birds, but it’s evidently enough of a problem to kill birds in backyards and on small farms. The culling policy is insane and serves no good purpose, so whom does it serve? Big Food?

    Honestly I think a lack of Mt Dew and potato chips will be the best thing for our “obesity epidemic” along with getting some exercise by growing your own. But don’t be surprised if Big Food asserts itself, in any number of ways.

    • What! Mt Dew and Potato chip “hate speech” You can have my ice old cold golden elixir and fried goodness when you pry from my slightly pudgy grease smeared fingers!

      • Mountain Dew isn’t that yellow garbage pepsi sells, it’s pure moonshine, the water of life, Uisge-Beatha (Whiskey). Maybe now people will go back to some copper line and a corn crop.

  • In the past week there have been two small aircraft crashes, where the plane crashed into a food processing facility. Two in a week.

  • Most of those foods are things I can live without, especially Pepsi (which gives money to anti freedom causes) You should write an article about what big national brands financially support anti gun/anti freedom causes! Levi’s, Pepsico, Coors, and more…

    Back to the subject: I love the idea of people hiding food plants in their flower gardens. Get things like rainbow Chard, Chives, Greek oregano (great for bees) Lemon balm, and “decorative” peppers. Plant a vining squash to shade your Clematis, and train it up your trellis. Something like Delicata (also called Sweet-Potato squash), which makes small pretty squash. You can save the seeds to eat also. Plant a fruiting crab apple, which makes a delicious jelly! Sweet potato vines and Malabar spinach can also grow up a trellis.

    If you are in a city, consider raising quail. They can be raised in small space, and are quiet with low mess. Most cities and villages do not have laws (yet) on those small meat birds. If you have access to a roof top, raise pigeons. Great meat, and they feed themselves if you let them out. You can also learn how to use the nitrogen from their waste to make gunpowder btw. Rabbits! You can use their waste directly on your garden without curing. The urine stinks, but if you keep them clean, no one will know you have them. Flush liquid waste down the toilet. Nutria: Edible, small rodents. They were introduced down south as a fur animal, and they are a nuisance animal which has taken over habitat.

    All it takes is some gumption and creativity to have a food source at hand.

    • You may not use these but many people do and the lack of them will cause a lot of angst among (mentally and physicaly BTW) the peoples and so will work for the nefarious entities purposes.

  • Obvious arson to further starve people for the Great Reset. This on top of the effects of our response to Russia, the bird flu, and other interruptions to the food supply and supply chains.

  • You missed the Azure Standard fire in Oregon that just happened within the last week. That is a very disturbing number of food processors/distributors that have been affected by fire. Thanks for making us aware.

  • So on April 11 Western Sugar Co-op had a fire. The argument is if it was big or small but there’s no sugar-coating that there was a lot of damage . . .

  • Very little of the shortages and root causes thereof are not by design. We are at war; the Statist’s are waging world war to create a perpetual dependent class.

  • Control the food and you control the people, control the energy and you control continents, control the money and you control the world.
    – Henry Kissenger 1973

    • Food is becoming more limited and unaffordable when it is available. Gas, oil, and all forms of energy are being limited by governments and NGO’s alike, and all currencies are unstable and crashing in purchasing power due to world-wide inflation and uncontrolled increases in money supply.

      Hang on to your hats ladies and gentlemen, this is going to be a WILD ride!

  • Is it just me or does it seem like these atta.., er, fires and stuff are following the food pyramid from the bottom up mostly?https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_pyramid_(nutrition)#/media/File%3AUSDA_Food_Pyramid.gif

    Now poultry is being atta.., ugh, there I go again, is having problems on both the egg and slaughter side (hey, which got inflated first? The chicken or the egg?).

    America barely noticed that cream cheese was a target of a cyber thing-a-ma-jig during the holidays. Read this article the last paragraphs pretty much say it all for me. The government is conducting work shops for dairy processors to show them how to harden their web security… heh,heh, ok.

    I think there is going to be something happening real soon against dairy. Something terrifying to the general population that makes people scared and, let’s face it, nothing makes Americans crap their nickers faster than diseases, so my bet is on the old tried and true favorite- mad cow disease. Nothing like hitting both beef and hamburger grinds simultaneously. I’m placing my bet for sometime around June (dairy month) to affect the Fourth of July grilling.

  • Refrigerant leaks, hopper fires, conveyor belt fires and blower motor fires happen all the time. Processing plant equipment runs 24-7 and events like these are so commonplace that they usually are not deemed newsworthy. Please don’t lump these everyday occurrences with the truly questionable fires.

    Now some of your other fires you mentioned….they absolutely seem suspicious. Thanks for bringing these events to the world’s attention!

  • “Why Do All These Food Facilities Keep Catching Fire?” Maybe they want to sell already-cooked food now.

  • Not to mention fires like this one: Walmart fire at Plainfield fulfillment center March 21st. The facility that caught fire is about 1.2 million square feet, about the size of 20 football fields says yahoo news. And then we have the UP saying they just can’t ship any more fertilizer, no way, they just have way too many orders right now and can’t figure out how to fix that problem so don’t bother us with your shipping needs. And, if you do, we’ll penalize you and not allow you to ever ship on our RR again. The perfect storm is rising.

  • I am not surprised that fires start in various food processing plants. Bearings collapse on conveyor belts and heat up to the point of igniting any combustible dust ie flour, sugar etc. It can happen without proper maintenance and fire protection. These fires were too frequent going back to the 1970’s until fire protection systems were legislated for specific types of premises. My question is, had correctly functioning and maintained fire protection systems been installed or had corners been cut in the name of cost cutting for the budget bottom line?

  • It makes the news if just one food processing plant catches fire. Multiple fires at one time, and all of them at food processing plants? That’s too much to be a coincidence.

  • Add to this the fact that fertilizer and grain shipments have been at least partially shut down by the railroads might make one think this is all part of a plan to starve us and make us beg BIG.GOV for food.

  • In January, I went to get my raw kefir from Organic Pastures at the local Sprout’s and was told that the creamery in the Fresno area had burned down and there was no telling when their products would be available again. But the last time I went a few weeks ago the products were back in stock. Whew! Good thing I had a few extras laid by. Now I can buy again. This dairy has been under the gun for over 20 years because they bring raw milk products to the marketplace. You know, because it’s healthy stuff.

  • What does a person do when they live in the city, in an apartment and have no extra $$ on hand but living month to month? This just steams me to no end! The only comfort I get is knowing they will give account to a Holy God one day. That can’t come soon enough.

    • JT first look at your assets and liabilities. Can you reduce your spending on cable bills, large cell phone services maybe cook more, pack brow bag lunches and make your own coffee vs drive through or worse Starbucks? Most of us honestly CAN.

      I had a Nurse I worked with complaining how I could afford to go on an annual cruise (Carnival so pretty cheap) but she couldn’t. I pulled up the calculator and asked her a few questions. She spend in JUST Starbucks at Work (let alone weekends) to buy a far better cruise every year.

      Later I noticed her pouring our FREE Break Room coffee into her Starbucks cup from them on. We shared a smile about that and she did indeed go on a cruise later that year.

      I’ve had a lunchbox all my life. Gives me money for important things and occasional luxuries. Because of COVID it’s been years since I’ve cruised.

      But that money has gone into food and useful stuff around the house, like apple trees and such.

      Lately I’ve started the Sunday Bean Pot. Where I cook up a pot of dry beans to use as a side dish all week. Meat I’ve chosen to reduce to a nice flavor enhancer while beans make up the main protein. A 1.50 bag of Navy Beans goes with everything and now even my beloved wife enjoys it. We’ve lost a little weight also.

      Traditional Mexican and Tuscan Italian cooking uses very little meat flavoring a dish with beans as the bulk of the meal. Good eats from traditionally poor countries.

      • I have had same conversation with friends/family. It’s shocking when they see it in the “yearly” context of how much could be saved and/or used for their own benefit IF making such a decision. Thanks for sharing your ideas for more to see/hear.

  • There’s just NO way this could just happen. This is arson, a concentrated effort to limit our food in one way or another. As we who are knowledgeable today know, the Powers That Be want most of us dead.

  • Unsurprisingly, nearly everything ever called a ‘Conspiracy Theory’ by government and their media has proven to be Conspiracy Facts. False flags abound with agent provocateurs in government employ. But we can’t discount insurance fraud do to loss of business and employees.

  • Any one who knows about how socialism/ communism works can figure this out. Research the tactics of the Old Soviet Union. Not at all SUPRISED !!

  • I will hazard a guess with the cause of some of these fires. Having worked with food processing for 35 years. These are inside jobs. They are not arson and they are not simple accidents. Only a trained technician in a factory can instigate a fire without leaving forensic traces for law enforcement. For example you can engineer a boiler to explode by adjusting its operating parameters above safety limits. The evidence will burn, no black boxes that can show what happenned. Someone has bribed insiders to cause these fires. I am no detective but if I was I would follow the money to identify the guilty party.

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