Heavy smoke seen at Tesoro refinery in Contra Costa County

The Tesoro refinery in Contra Costa County was spewing thick black smoke into the air Tuesday afternoon.

The refinery in Pacheco was experiencing a level two incident, according to the Contra Costa Fire Department. Emergency crews said the facility was experiencing excessive flaring and smoke, but the incident was being handled.

Flare events can be caused by overpressure of combustible gases or other operational safety reasons. Tesoro has not commented on what caused Tuesday’s event.

The refinery is located on Solano Way in Pacheco, and people who live in the region reported seeing the smoke. The county health department is recommending people who have breathing problems or other pre-existing health condition stay indoors.