Sherburn-in-Elmet Tyre Fire Plume Reaches 6,000ft


    A fire involving 15,000 tonnes of tyres at a recycling plant has blanketed Yorkshire in plumes of black smoke that have reached heights of up to 6,000ft.

    Local residents have been advised to stay indoors and keep the windows closed.

    At its height, around 70 fire-fighters tackled the fire in Sherburn-in-Elmet, North Yorkshire, which started at 8.40am on January 16th.

    The smoke plume was so big that it was picked up by satellites, and flights at a nearby airfield have also been grounded.

   Mr Hutchinson said: "It is a significant fire and one that is difficult to tackle. It's the sort of incident that will go on for days.

    "We are anticipating a large part of the stack, if not the whole stack, being involved."

    Peter Hudson, group manager for North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, said crews remained on site but they intended to let the tyres burn out.

    He said:  “At the moment the smoke is dissipating over a wide area and any pollution is being diluted to harmless levels, reducing the impact on the environment. This tactic will also reduce the amount of waste that needs to be removed when the fire is out.

    “If the fire service were to try and put the fire out, it would require at least a week spent pouring millions of litres of water on to the fire. This would carry away contamination to water courses, underground water systems and concentrate high levels of pollution in the surrounding area whilst being difficult to monitor.”

    According to officials, the cause of the blaze at Newgen Recycling in Sherburn-in-Elmet is not yet known, although a 51-year-old local man has been arrested in connection with the investigation. Following questioning he was released on police bail pending further inquiries.

Collated by Philip Turnbull

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