SHERBURN-IN-ELMET, England, January 16, 2014 (ENS) – An estimated 15,000 tonnes of waste tires are on fire at a recycling plant in Sherburn-in-Elmet, North Yorkshire in a blaze that can be seen from space.
A NASA satellite caught an image of the giant fire at the Gascoigne Wood Interchange Newgen Recycling facility in Sherburn-in-Elmet. The village of about 6,000 people near Leeds was first settled centuries ago, dating back to Roman times.
The North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service was called to the scene of the fire just after 8:30 this morning local time. More than 70 firefighters have spent most of the day trying to control the flames, using a water curtain as a cooling method to restrict the spread of the fire.
Crews are using a digger to create a fire break to keep the fire contained.
Local media quoted North Yorkshire’s fire chief as saying the fire will “go on for days.”
Fire crews will remain at the scene overnight. Ground monitors have placed around nearby buildings to alert firefighters if the fire spreads to them.
North Yorkshire County Council has contacted area schools to warn that pupils and staff should be kept indoors, and the fire department is advising all local residents to keep their doors and windows closed against the toxic smoke.
A Public Health England spokesman said, “So far there have been no reports of any people experiencing ill effects from this fire. However, sheltering indoors provides protection from exposure to smoke, so we advise residents in areas affected by smoke from the fire to stay indoors and limit any exposure to smoke.”
Ambulances were called to the scene this morning, but no one has been taken to the hospital.
The Environment Agency says tens of millions of tires are disposed of each year in the United Kingdom.
Newgen Recycling takes tires from the Gascoigne Wood Interchange plant and turns them into rubber chippings for play areas, arenas and equestrian centers, for poultry houses and for landscaping mulch.