Crews step up fight against Bawsey waste fire

A fire at a scrapyard in Gayton Road, Bawsey. Credit: Paul Tibbs.

A fire at a scrapyard in Gayton Road, Bawsey. Credit: Paul Tibbs. - Credit: Archant

Firefighters are now taking 'proactive steps' to put out the fire which broke out at a scrapyard two days ago.

Six fire appliances were called in to fight the blaze which broke out at Bawsey, near King's Lynn, on Monday night.

It was predicted that thousands of tonnes of waste off the B1145 Gayton Road by the Sand Boy pub would burn for days.

Now Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS), West Norfolk council, the Environment Agency and police say the burning pile was now estimated to contain 1,000 tonnes of household waste.

They add: 'NFRS is taking proactive steps to extinguish the fire. A construction grabber is being used to collect and submerge parts of the pile in water before moving it out of the fire's reach.

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'Working continuously during daylight hours and into early evening, it's estimated that it will take three days to complete this task.'

Firefighters will keep a watching brief on the site around the clock throughout that time.

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Smoke is now dispersing due to higher winds. Environmental Health staff from the borough council continue to undertake regular visits to assess any potential impact of the plume on the local community.

To date no signs of pollution have been observed in the local rivers and ground water. The Environment Agency will continue to attend the site and monitor the environment.

Dr David Edwards, consultant in health protection with Public Health England East said: 'Residents in areas affected by the smoke should stay indoors, keep their doors and windows closed, and tune in to the local radio station for advice and information. Motorists who have to travel through the smoke should keep windows closed, turn off air conditioning and keep their air vents closed.

'Any smoke can be an irritant and as such, if people need to be outdoors, they are advised to avoid outside areas affected by any smoke or ash, or to limit the time that they spend in them.'

Anyone experiencing problems such as coughing and wheezing, breathlessness, sputum (phlegm) production or chest pain should seek medical advice or call NHS 111.

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