North Runcton fire could smoulder for weeks

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 pile of scrap timber is almost out but may smoulder for another fortnight, officials say.

Wood piled high at North Runcton, near King's Lynn, caught light on Saturday, January 21.

In an update issued today Norfolk County Council said the cause of the blaze was still the subject of 'a multi-agency investigation'.

More than 50 firefighters were needed to bring it under control, with crews visiting the site for two weeks afterwards to monitor the situation.

The cost of the lengthy operation, which will have to be borne by the Norfolk fire service, remains unknown.

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In today's update, the county council said: 'The fire has continued to burn at a steady pace and is now reaching the final stages of the controlled burn. It may then smoulder for up to two weeks, so residents might see some vapour during this time.

'Due to the significant reduction in smoke emissions, air quality visits are no longer required. With the fire now under control, all agencies agree that routine fire visits are no longer necessary

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'As with all fires, now that the site is in a good condition with minimal risk to local residents and their properties, it has been handed back to the occupier.'

Tests of the ground and local water sources will be carried out by the Environment Agency once the ash has cooled, to check for contamination.

'Residents are advised that if they can no longer smell or see any smoke they can open windows and doors to ventilate their house,' the update adds.

'Until this time, people in the local area are advised to continue to adhere to the following safety advice: Any smoke can be an irritant and as such people are advised to avoid being in the plume as far as possible and to avoid contact with any smoke deposits near to the site. Keep windows and doors shut, and avoid spending unnecessary time outdoors.'

The statement warns drivers using the A10, a few hundred yards from the site of the fire, to keep their car windows closed and turn off air vents and air conditioning if they travel through the smoke plume.

It said anyone with health concerns after breathing in smoke from the fire should contact their GP or the NHS 111 service out of hours.

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