WILTSHIRE Fire & Rescue Service is maintaining a presence at the site of a significant waste fire in Swindon.

Firefighters have been at Averies Recycling in Marshgate since Monday evening, when fire broke out in a stack containing 1,000 tonnes of general waste and building waste.

There have been two fire crews at the site since yesterday evening, and efforts are continuing to suppress the fire and protect neighbouring buildings. Efforts are being made to reduce the amount of waste on site, so that the burning rubbish can be excavated and extinguished, but it is expected that the fire will continue to burn for several days at least.

Air quality monitoring in the immediate vicinity of the fire has been running since yesterday morning, and readings continue to show that the smoke is not impacting on public health.

Public Health England and the Environment Agency, who have been monitoring air quality, said: “There have been a number of large scale mixed waste fires during recent months which have led to Air Quality Cells being established because of the duration and potential public health impact of the fire. The monitoring near Averies shows brief spikes in levels of particulate matter but, overall, levels are below the point at which they may impact public health.

“Our analysis of other pollutants has not identified any potential for an impact on public health. We continue to advise that people in the affected areas should minimise their exposure to the smoke where possible.”

The Fire & Rescue Service is working with Local Resilience Forum partners, including Swindon Borough Council, Public Health England, NHS England and Wiltshire Police, to ensure public safety and discussions continue about the best way to bring the incident to a swift conclusion.

Smoke is still rising from the site and local people are advised to keep doors and windows closed if they are concerned about the plume, especially if they have a pre-existing respiratory condition. Anyone who thinks their health is being affected should contact their GP or call 111.

Local people are also advised that footpaths immediately around the site have been closed by Swindon Council as a safety precaution and these closures should be adhered to.