A quantity of rubbish at the Wiltshire Waste (Recycling) Ltd site on the outskirts of Devizes is still burning, a week after the fire initially started.

Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service left the scene last Thursday as the fire, which broke out on Tuesday afternoon, was under control and could be left to burn itself out.

This approach was agreed following discussions with the Environment Agency, because trying to extinguish the blaze would have required a massive amount of water, which would then have been contaminated.

The site managers are continuing to use a mechanical digger to keep non-burning items away from the seat of the fire, and to turn over the smouldering waste, which encourages it to burn and then die out more quickly.

Officers from the Fire & Rescue Service are making a daily inspection of the site, to monitor the progress of the turning over, and to ensure that no further issues arise.

With the current weather forecasts, it is expected that the affected area could continue to smoulder – and therefore produce smoke – for a further week.

Wiltshire Council’s public health team have carried out air monitoring in the area immediately around the site and are satisfied that the smoke only carries a low risk to local people.

Despite there being no particular toxic hazards, all smoke is an irritant and people are advised to take sensible precautions. There is no need to restrict daily movements but, if you can see or smell smoke, you may wish to consider closing doors and windows as a precaution. This will be especially relevant for people with a pre-existing respiratory condition.