POLLUTION from the tyre fire in Sherburn-in-Elmet is being kept to a minimum, experts have said.

The fire, involving more than 15,000 tonnes of tyres, started on January 16 at the Newgen Recycling Centre.

A number of agencies including North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service, North Yorkshire Police, the Met Office, the Environment Agency, meet daily to monitor the situation and ensure that everything is being done to keep disruption to members of the public to a minimum, a police spokeswoman said.

Peter Hudson, group manager for North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, said: “At the moment the smoke is dissipating over a wide area and any pollution is being diluted to harmless levels, reducing the impact on the environment. This tactic will also reduce the amount of waste that needs to be removed when the fire is out.

“If the fire service were to try and put the fire out, it would require at least a week spent pouring millions of litres of water on to the fire. This would carry away contamination to water courses, underground water systems and concentrate high levels of pollution in the surrounding area whilst being difficult to monitor.”

The Food Standards Agency has said there are no toxicological concerns over food or crops which may have smoke residue on them.

• A 51-year-old local man has been arrested in connection with the investigation. Following questioning he was released on police bail pending further inquiries.