Fire service counts cost of blaze at Runcton, near King’s Lynn

The fire at North Runcton, which burned for around a month. Picture: Ian Burt

The fire at North Runcton, which burned for around a month. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

A fire in a 15m-high stack of scrap timber could burn for another 10 days.

By tomorrow lunchtime, fire appliances will have been at the scene of the blaze, which broke out near King's Lynn on Saturday, for 120 hours.

Up to 50 firefighters battled into the night to bring the flames under control. Since then, crews have had to maintain a presence on site while a 'controlled burn' is carried out.

So far the cost of the operation - which will have to be carried by Norfolk fire service - is unknown.

But the service costs out each pump at between £150 and £298 per hour.

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Multiple appliances were on scene during the initial phases of the operation, while crews are now working in relays keeping a watching brief on the site.

A spokesman said: 'Over 20 pumps including special appliances have been used at the scene over the last five days, with many being used more than once during our attendance over these five days. As containment continues to improve current resources will now be reduced down to one pump.

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'Resources have been on the scene from 12:10hrs on Saturday, with resources ranging from two to five pumps each day.

'We have had a wide range of pumps and special appliances and equipment on scene now for over five days to contain and control this fire incident, using jets to boundary cool and prevent fire spread to other areas.'

The controlled burn was initially expected to take seven days. But in an update issued last night, Norfolk County Council said the fire was now expected to burn for 14 days from first ignition, because of the amount of wood involved. That means that the fire could continue until Saturday, February 4.

It added: 'Environmental Health staff from the borough council are undertaking daily visits to assess the impact of the plume of smoke on the local community.

'The wind direction is changing and it is likely that some people in the South Lynn and Hardwick Road areas of King's Lynn may also smell the odour from the burning.

'As a precaution, residents within the local area are advised to keep windows and doors shut, and avoid spending unnecessary time outdoors.'

Chequers Lane, between Runcton and the A10 will remain closed.

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