Fire at North Runcton, near King’s Lynn is still smouldering after almost eight months
- Credit: Archant
A fire in a massive pile of scrap timber is still smouldering almost eight months after it caught light.
Fire crews from across Norfolk were called to North Runcton, near King's Lynn, when the wood pile at Manor Farm caught light on January 21.
It took more than 70 firefighters to bring the blaze under control, while the 15m-high stack continued burning and sending up plumes of smoke for weeks.
MORE - North Runcton fire was arsonToday West Norfolk council, which has been monitoring the site, said it was still alight.
'The wood pile has reduced significantly in size and height but is still smouldering in two places,' it said in an update to people living around the site.
'The smoke and odour coming from the site has decreased but some local residents are still being affected.
'We reviewed whether work should be done to increase the burn rate or extinguish the smouldering areas, but it was determined that this may lead to dust, ash, odour, and water emissions that would significantly affect the local environment.'
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MORE - residents speak of disruption from fireOfficials warn residents should keep their doors and windows closed if they smell smoke. But they say that the fire is contained and there is no danger of it spreading.
The council briefing says samples have been taken as part of contaminated land investigation. A report will be made public later this month.
It adds: 'The site is an illegal waste site and has no environmental permit from the Environment Agency or planning permission authorising the waste activities taking place.
'The occupier has been subject to a joint prosecution between the Environment Agency for waste offences and Norfolk County Council for breaches of planning law.
'The occupier pleaded guilty and was directed by Norwich Crown Court to remove waste from the site with an emphasis on clearing the waste wood as a priority.
'The occupier has failed to remove the waste and was given a 15-month custodial sentence on March 17, 2016 and has recently been released from prison.'
The update says the fire is still burning because the rubbish pile comprises an immense quantity of material that is densely packed and deep. It is so large that water would not fully penetrate the pile and would only cause the fire to burn more slowly and for longer.