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Fire blazes for second day at Milton landfill site


By Alex Spencer


A firefighters tackles the blaze in Milton. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service
A firefighters tackles the blaze in Milton. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service

Firefighters are still tackling a blaze on a 30 metre high pile of rubbish at the Milton landfill site.

Fire crews tackle blaze at the Milton site. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service
Fire crews tackle blaze at the Milton site. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service

There is no end in sight for a blaze that is raging at Milton landfill site, according to an officer at the incident.

Around 30 firefighters were still dealing with fires on a 30-metre high pile of rubbish at the site yesterday, and could be there for the ‘forseeable future’.

The blaze has been raging in multiple areas of the waste since 6am on Monday and was still burning as we went to press.

Group Commander Gary Mitchley said in a statement: “We have been working hard over the last two days to get the fire under control. We had a large presence at the incident yesterday but we have managed to scale that down a little bit today. We are going to maintain a presence for the forseeable future.

A firefighter tackles the blaze at the landfill site in Milton. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service
A firefighter tackles the blaze at the landfill site in Milton. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service

“We’re working very hard with the on site teams to excavate the rubbish, dampen it down and keep the fire and smoke plume under control.”

Crews were expected to stay at the site all day yesterday attacking the fire with water pumped from a nearby farm and work was expected to continue into a second night.

A spokesperson for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “We don’t have any indication of when it will be out. These fires are quite challenging because of their size. A fire in landfill is very difficult to tackle but we are hoping it’s going to be done as quickly as possible.

“We have tried a number of tactics to tackle the fire, including damping down the area around the fire so it does not spread and attacking the fire itself.

“We have got our high volume pump there and are pumping water from a nearby farm.

“We have an officer on the scene who will be developing a tactical plan to ascertain how quickly we can get it out. It hasn’t behaved in any way we weren’t expecting”

On Monday (1) at 6.06am crews were called to a fire at a landfill site on Butt Lane, Milton, involving a large amount of household waste. Butt Lane has been closed and the nearby recycling centre is closed until further notice. Milton Country Park also remains closed. They released this statement: “Due to the fire at Milton Recycling Centre, and in the interests of public health, Milton Country Park is closed until further notice. Thank you for your cooperation.”

The spokesperson for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service explained the problems officers had faced fighting the blaze was due to the scale of the fire. He said: “There is one very big area; it is 30 metres deep, it’s a big, big pile and there’s different pockets of fire within that big pile

“We had a live video feed in our control room and you can see a huge pile of landfill. Compared it to the firefighter looks like a dot.”

In a statement, the Fire and Rescue Service warned residents in the area to keep their doors and windows closed as a precaution.

“Any smoke can be an irritant. Some of the substances present in smoke can irritate the lining of the air passages, the skin and the eyes. Respiratory symptoms include coughing and wheezing, breathlessness and chest pain. If symptoms occur, people should seek medical advice or call NHS 111. Chemicals in the smoke can worsen existing health problems like asthma. People with asthma should carry their inhaler.”

The Environment Agency said in a statement: “We are working with the Local Resilience Forum to inform of possible impacts to both people and the environment as the incident progresses.

“Milton Landfill is a permitted waste site which we regulate. Our Environment Officers will be investigating the cause of the fire, the actions taken by the site operator and compliance with their environmental permit.”

Residents are advised to use an alternative recycling centre to dispose of household waste while Milton landfill remains closed.

A list of all nearby recycling centres can be found here: cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/waste-and-recycling/household-recycling-centres/.

Residents are advised to use an alternative recycling centre to dispose of household waste while the Milton Recycling Centre is closed. A list of all nearby recycling centres can be found here: cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/waste-and-recycling/household-recycling-centres/
Read more: cambridgeindependent.co.uk/news/cambridge/firefighters-tackle-huge-blaze-at-milton-landfill-site-1-5717317



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