LOS ANGELES, Calif.–Fire and smoke billowed from Los Angeles International Airport this morning during a Los Angeles Fire Department exercise.

The drill began at 4 a.m. and was scheduled to last until 6:30 a.m., according to authorities who said the smoke and flames would be visible for more than 30 miles.

“There is no cause for public alarm,” said fire department spokesman Erik Scott.

The drill is federally mandated for the fire department personnel stationed at the $3.75 million state-of-the-art training facility at the southwest corner of the airport grounds, Scott said.

The training must occur at least once a year. Rescue firefighters serving at LAX and Van Nuys Airport participate in order to hone their lifesaving skills, he said.

The drills are designed to address environmental concerns, according to the fire department. The water, fuel and firefighting foam used at the training facility are captured after going through a complex series of scrubbers. Water is treated to assure it meets strict clean water standards for discharge at the
nearby Hyperion Treatment plant, Scott said.