A fire at a recycling plant in Yorkshire is so large that it can be seen from space.
The blaze started at approximately 08:30 GMT January 16th at the Newgen plant in Sherburn-in-Elmet, near Leeds, and could continue for a number of days.
Plumes of smoke rose as a result of the fire involving 15,000 tonnes of tyres that a Nasa satellite image pictured the incident from space. The smoke was described as heading from Sherburn-in-Elmet across the North Yorkshire moors towards the east coast.
Dozens of firefighters have been at the scene and used three hose jets as well as a water curtain, which is used as a cooling method, to try to tame the blaze. Several crews remained overnight at the site and ground monitors have been put in place to help protect nearby buildings.
North Yorkshire Fire chief Nigel Hutchinson said: “It is a significant fire and one that is difficult to tackle. It’s the sort of incident that will go on for days.”
He added that they are expecting a large part of the stack of tyres – if not the whole stack – to be affected by this blaze.
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service warned staff and pupils from twelve schools and one children’s centre to stay inside although schools are expected to remain open today.
As the plume of smoke was so high in the sky, the risk to the public was low, according to North Yorkshire Police.
“Sheltering indoors provides protection from exposure to smoke, so we advise residents in areas affected by smoke from the fire to stay indoors and keep their doors and windows closed as much as possible to limit any exposure to smoke,” a spokesperson advised.
Anyone who suffers from respiratory problems, such as asthma, is being advised to continue taking any prescribed medication, keep it to hand and contact their GP if need be.
The cause of the blaze is currently unknown.
Commercial buildings, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises in England and Wales are already forced to undertake a ‘suitable and sufficient’ fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
While the overwhelming majority of premises do this, if the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.