Removing waste will make crews’ job easier in Averies Recycling fire
5:30am Tuesday 5th August 2014 in By Craig Jones, Reporter
EXTINGUISHED waste will be removed from Averies Recycling to speed up the firefighters’ job of putting out the blaze.
For over two weeks, Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service has been at the company’s Marshgate base, struggling to put out the fire because of a lack of space at the site.
Now about half the burnt waste will be taken away to give crews room to work.
Due to the risk of it reigniting, the waste cannot be taken to a landfill. Appropriate sites are being identified.
Since the fire began, on Monday, July 21, smoke has swept across Swindon affecting neighbouring residents and businesses.
Firefighters are working with Averies, Swindon Council, NHS England, Wiltshire Police and the Environment Agency to deal with the incident.
Usually such fires would be extinguished on a managed basis, potentially taking several months to burn out but due to Averies’ location, firefighters intend to deal with it more aggressively.
Coun David Renard, Swindon Council leader, said: “We have made the decision with our partners to take clear action to bring this fire to a more expedient conclusion as it has been going on long enough and we remain concerned about the impact it is having on neighbouring businesses and those living nearby.
“The firefighters have done a great job tackling the blaze up until this point, but they continue to be hampered by the sheer volume of waste and the confines of the site, which makes their job all the more difficult. That’s why we’re taking forward a plan which will enable crews to put the fire out faster.”
The authorities haven’t released a target date for when they hope to have the fire out. The cause of the incident is still being investigated.
Mark Gaskarth, Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service’s Swindon area manager, said: “Crews have continued working hard at the site successfully making sure that the fire doesn’t spread and that it is kept under control.
“This remains an extremely challenging situation and appropriate action is under way which will enable our crews to fully extinguish the fire more swiftly.”
The council is continuing to monitor the smoke levels while the Environment Agency is checking the River Cole to ensure the fire hasn’t contaminated the water. Anyone concerned about inhaling smoke should call NHS 111.
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