Sherburn-in-Elmet tyre fire burns for two days and nights - some evidence of water pollution at the site

UPDATE: Crews keep watch on smouldering wreckage at Sherburn-in-Elmet tyre fire

Picture courtesy of Gary Foster.

Picture courtesy of Gary Foster.

Tyre fire burns throughout the night

Tyre fire burns throughout the night

Tyre fire burns throughout the night

Tyre fire burns throughout the night

First published in News
Last updated
York Press: Photograph of the Author by

>> PICTURE GALLERY - MORE IMAGES OF THE TYRE FIRE

3:55pm - Julie Reddington Myers, landlady of The Ash Tree Inn in nearby Barkston Ash, said she and her staff are planning to take hot drinks and food to the fire crews still on site for the third night running tonight.

She said: "We heard on Thursday that there were more than 100 firefighters down there, and wanted to help. We rang Tadcaster Fire Station to ask if they had and hot food at the site, and they said their unit was at another incident and anything we could do would be appreciated.

"We're a small village, and there were so many firemen in the cold and damp we just wanted to do something for them."

Julie and her employees took hot drinks and snacks down that afternoon before going back with chip butties in the evening. They did the same on Friday evening , and plan to go again tonight if crews are still there, she said.

"The fire service have written me a letter to thank us. My staff have come in to make the chip butties for free, and suppliers have given us free bread rolls. It's a really community spirit."

With the pub less than a mile from the fire Julie, the staff and customers have watched the drama unfold.

She said: "To begin with we could only see the thick black smoke and the flames at night, but now with all this rain we can smell it.

"Customers are coming in to the pub and telling me they can smell the burning rubber. It's that pungent smell, and it sticks in your throat."

But, she added, many of her neighbours are worried about the effects water run off from the site and do not know what effects it could have on them."

10.05am - Police now say the fire could take three to four days to burn out. No health or air quality problems have been reported, but the situation is being monitored, they add. 

Saturday 9:54am - Two fire crews stayed at the scene overnight, maintaining a "watching brief", the fire service has said. Another fire officer was sent to Sherburn in Elmet this morning to assess the situation at first light.

Saturday am - Firefighters are continuing to battle the massive fire which engulfed thousands of tyres.

A pilot from the Advanced Training School based at Sherburn Aero Club, who did not wish to be named, had flown thousands of feet above the fire on Thursday and again on Friday.

He said: “Compared to Thursday, it’s not as thick and not as smoky, and not reaching up as high, maybe to 2,000 feet.

“You can still see the flames, but they’re much less intense and much less widespread. It’s difficult to say how much of the tyre yard is left, but I would say about 50 per cent of it has been involved.”

Gary Foster, who took pictures for The Press on the first night of the blaze, said a container was surrounded by mounds of tyres when he arrived, but just an hour later, all the tyres had burned away.

He said: “Firefighters told me their hoses were melting from being so close to the fire. Tyres were rolling off from the fire into the road around the plant.

“Seeing where it started, I was in the opposite corner to that, so the fire had spread right across the compound. It was just burning everything in its path. I couldn’t believe how fast it moved, it was like a train.

“Things just disappeared right in front of your eyes.”

Environment Agency officers remain at the scene, to monitor run-off from the site and potential pollution.

The spokesman said this would not affect drinking water in the area. Because it had issued permits for the site the agency would investigate the cause of the fire, but previous inspections of the plant had been satisfactory.

A fire service spokesman said the fire at the 35,000-square-metre site was now “considerably smaller than it was”, but access to the blaze was still “very difficult”.

Crews will work over the weekend to prevent the fire spreading any further, and allow the fire to burn itself out. A site visit to determine the cause of the fire is expected to take place on Tuesday.

York Press:

5.30pm - A spokesman for the Environment Agency said the recycling plant had been inspected on four occasions in recent years as a matter of routine, and was found to be "a good operator" with "a good environment management system in place, that includes fire risk management".

The spokesman also said a thin oily film had been found on a watercourse to the north of the site, which was likely caused by surface water run-off from the site, and the agency would make efforts to limit the amount of pollution using booms and damming techniques this weekend.   

4.30pm - The scene late this afternoon...

York Press:

York Press:

2.40pm - This picture from North Yorkshire Fire Service shows the scale of the fire today...

York Press:

... Compared to last night...

York Press:

... Compared to yesterday afternoon...

York Press:

11.45am - A joint statement from North Yorkshire Fire Service, North Yorkshire Police, Public Health England and the Environment Agency said "the risk to the public remains low" from the fire, and nobody had been taken to hospital suffering from symptoms caused by the blaze.

FIRE crews are still at the scene of a massive tyre fire today.

The blaze, at Newgen Tyre Recycling Plant, started yesterday morning and consumed hundreds of thousands of tyres, up to 15,000 tonnes, at the site. 

Crews remained and the scene overnight as the blaze continued, and only two fire engines are currently at the scene, along with teams from other agencies.

A North Yorkshire Fire Service spokesman said high volume pumps had been used to draw water from a pond around the edge of the site, and created a series of "water curtains" to protect the main building on the site.

The spokesman also said the fire was "considerably smaller than it was yesterday", but access to the blaze was still "very difficult". Crews are now working to prevent the fire spreading any further.

This picture was taken by an officer from North Yorkshire Fire Service as the blaze took hold yesterday, and has just been released by the authority: 

York Press:

The spokesman said more crews are expected at the scene throughout the day, and the fire is expected to continue for several days and possibly weeks.

Residents are advised to remain indoors with windows and doors closed to avoid exposure to the smoke, but schools are expected to be open as normal today.

More to follow.

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