More smoke before blaze is finally out
5:30am Thursday 28th August 2014 in By Craig Jones, Reporter
THE fire service has warned that the Averies Recycling blaze will be burning for several weeks despite progress in their efforts to put it out.
The blaze, which started on July 21, has seen firefighters working with Swindon Council, the Environment Agency, NHS England and Wiltshire Police to deal with the incident at the Marshgate site.
Due to a lack of space at Averies’ base there have been delays in extinguishing the fire.
Firefighters have been able to intensify their efforts since 1,000 tonnes of non-hazardous waste was removed from the site.
Ian Jeary, Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service area manager, said: “We have diggers and excavators taking out parts of the waste stack that is on fire. We then have crews on site and four hoses putting out those chunks of waste which will be taken away also.
“This is a laborious and protected process but will get results. The public have been supportive to us as we deal with this issue and we’d ask the community to bear with us for the next couple of weeks. If this fire was in a non-populated area it would have been allowed to burn out which would have taken several months.
“We appreciate this cannot be allowed to happen and this is why we are dealing with the situation in an aggressive and proactive manner.”
The fire service has warned residents and businesses near to Averies that there will probably be an increase in smoke around the site as they step up their work to get the fire out.
The council and Public Health England will continue monitoring the air quality. Residents are asked to keep their windows closed whenever possible.
Mr Jeary said: “Our thanks goes to the public for their patience. On the surface, this might have looked like a simple operation but it is quite complex.
“Of course, we would have liked to have put the fire out many weeks ago but it just wasn’t as simple as putting water on it.
“The site was very congested and now that we have created space allowing us to attack the fire. We aim to get it out as soon as we possibly can.”
- Anyone who is being affected by smoke from the fire is asked to seek medical advice by calling their GP or NHS 111.
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