Monday, 8 December 2014

Good progress being made in Newhaven

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is thanking the Newhaven community for their support and patience, as it confirms it is making good progress in dealing with the waste fire.

As of 17:00, four fire engines are at the site on North Quay Road.

Firefighters have reached the seat of the fire, which involves 200 tonnes of waste.

Excavators are being used to move the rubbish, which is compacted and piled high.

Water is then being used to extinguish any remaining flames.  This may cause further smoke plumes this evening and locals are being reminded of the health advice from Public Health England.

The Service is working with other agencies including the Environment Agency to help minimise the impact of water run-off on the environment.

Photos from earlier today are available on our Facebook page:

A further update is expected around 08.30 tomorrow morning.

Health advice 

A Public Health England spokesman said any smoke could be an irritant: “Residents in areas affected by the smoke should stay indoors and keep their doors and windows closed.  Any smoke can be an irritant and as such, if people need to be outdoors, they are advised to avoid outside areas affected by any smoke or ash, or to limit the time that they spend in them.

“Motorists who have to travel through the smoke should keep windows closed, turn off air conditioning and keep their air vents closed.

“Some of the substances present in smoke can irritate the lining of the air passages, the skin and the eyes. Respiratory symptoms include coughing and wheezing, breathlessness, sputum (phlegm) production and chest pain. If symptoms occur, people should seek medical advice or call NHS 111. Smoke can worsen existing health problems like asthma."

Statement from site operators

The site operators Skip It Containers have released the following statement:

"We recognise that people are concerned about this fire and the smoke affecting the local area.

Our firm is very much part of the local community, with many of our staff living in the area and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them for the hard work they have put into dealing with this incident.

We would like to reassure the public that the waste involved is compacted, baled household waste, due to be exported to Germany where it would have been burnt in an incinerator. This business is regulated and tests for chemicals are regularly carried out.

No hazardous materials - such as tyres or asbestos - are involved.

We are working with East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, the Environment Agency, Environmental Health and other organisations to resolve this situation as soon as possible.

Public Health England have issued health advice which we recommend people follow."

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