THE ENVIRONMENT Agency is still monitoring a massive tyre fire near Selby as changes in the weather mean concerns are raised about air pollution.

The blaze at the Newgen recycling plant in Sherburn in Elmet has now been raging for three days and nights, and one fire crew is still on site keeping a "watching brief" as they let the fire burn out naturally.

Nearby residents have reported a stronger smell of burning rubber over the weekend as wet weather lowers the plume of smoke towards the ground.

Yesterday Julie Reddington Myers from the Ash Tree Inn in Barkston Ash 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."

Now the Environment Agency say they will closely monitor the situation as cold, still, foggy weather forecast to hit tomorrow cold affect the air quality.

A spokesman said: "There has been no significant change but all the rain over night might mean the plume of smoke is slightly lower, which could be why people can smell it.

"With the forecast change in the weather we will be looking at the situation with the other agencies and deciding whether to do more air quality tests.

"The advice is still that people should stay inside and keep windows and doors shut. If you feel unwell, call 111 for advice."

Kieran Slater, a flying instructor with Sherburn Aeroclub, has flown over the fire every day since it began and has seen its progress from above.

"On Thursday, it was like a volcano had just erupted. Now the smoke is getting lighter and thinner but it is still very distinct and still smells," he said.