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Beenham compost fire: Work to start on putting out flames

  • 5-31-2013

Work to put out a recycling plant fire, which has been burning for five months, will begin next week.

The blaze that started in a pile of wood mulch at Good 2 Grow Recycling in Beenham, Berkshire has been declared a "public nuisance".

It has been monitored by the fire service who had said using water to put it out would create a giant ash plume.

A legal abatement notice served on Good 2 Grow Recycling by West Berkshire Council earlier this month has expired.

When the blaze first broke out in December, firefighters made several attempts to put it out but were hampered by strong winds.

The latest attempt to extinguish it is expected to take up to three weeks and will start on Wednesday.

'Suppress smoke'

Remaining organic matter will be moved, a tonne at a time, to a nearby site and saturated with water.

The plan has been agreed by the Environmental Agency, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service, West Berkshire Council, Public Health England and the landowner, Grundon Waste Management.

Other options considered included burying the material to suppress combustion or digging a water pit and dumping it inside.

Two fire engines, their crews and an officer will be on site throughout the operation. An aerial appliance may also be used.

Nicole Targett, from the fire service, said: "The volume of the waste has now reduced to the point where it will be possible to access any material that is still burning.

"The techniques we will be using are designed to suppress production of smoke and ash as far as possible.

"But, with an operation of this size, significant amounts will still be released."

An Environment Agency investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.

Good2Grow Ltd has been unavailable for comment.

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Reproduced under licence from BBC News © 2013 BBC


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