WATCH: Valero Memphis Refinery flare shines bright in wintry night sky

Flaring at the Valero refinery Feb. 15, 2021.
Flaring at the Valero refinery Feb. 15, 2021.(WMC)
Updated: Feb. 15, 2021 at 7:27 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - If you were outside Monday night, you may have spotted the flame, sometimes flames, at the Valero Memphis Refinery in South Memphis.

A worker at the Valero refinery told us it was flaring and a normal part of the refinery process.

The sight was surprising for some people. We took dozens of calls from concerned residents across the city.

Wintry conditions made the flare shine that much brighter.

Interstate 55 was briefly shut down in both directions between the bridge and Third Street as a precaution.

Wintry sky makes refinery flame shine bright

SEE THAT? Valero tells us it's a normal part of the refinery process. The wintry conditions outside just make it shine that much brighter.

Posted by WMC Action News 5 on Monday, February 15, 2021

A spokesperson for the refinery said because of the extreme cold weather, operational conditions required the use of the safety flare system to safely burn off excess material and minimize potential emissions.

Valero is conducting air monitoring in the surrounding area and working with local emergency first responders.

The spokesperson says no impact on the community is anticipated.

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