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More Advice On Fire At Recycling Plant In Sherburn In Elmet


10:09am 16th January 2014
(Updated 6:11am 17th January 2014)

People are being advised to keep doors and windows closed as 15,000 tonnes of tyres and rubber burn in Sherburn in Elmet.

Firefighters have stayed at the recycling plant on Lennerton Lane overnight as they continue to fight the flames. People have also been stationed nearby to protect nearby buildings.

The smoke from the fire can be seen as far away as the North York Moors heading towards the coast. NASA's satellites have even caught an image of the fire from space.

Public health officials have offered further advice to the public following a large fire at a recycling plant in Sherburn in Elmet.

There have been reports of deposits from the ash being found on cars in the area but Public Health England have confirmed that the material can be cleaned up safely. They have also advised anyone with existing health problems to contact their GP if their condition worsens after coming into contact with the smoke.

A spokesperson for Public Health England said: "Smoke consists of a mixture of gases, liquid droplets and solid particles representing the decomposition and combustion products from fires.

“Any smoke can be an irritant and as such, if people need to be outdoors, they are advised to avoid or limit the time spent in areas affected by any smoke or ash. Chemicals in the smoke can worsen existing respiratory problems like asthma. People with asthma or respiratory conditions should carry their inhalers and keep any medication to hand and phone your GP or NHS 111 for advice if your health condition worsens.

“Near to the fire, there is a risk of material being deposited, such as a light coating visible on cars or garden furniture – and we recommend that this can be washed away safely.”

North Yorkshire County Council are advising parents that schools are operating normally tomorrow (Friday 17 January 2014) unless they hear differently.

Schools are expected to follow public health precautions and keep pupils and staff away from the smoke but they will open as usual.

The Fire and Rescue service and North Yorkshire Police will remain at the scene of the fire overnight to ensure it is kept under control and minimise the risk to the public


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Photo courtesy of NASA

Public health officials say the risk to the public is low as the smoke is high up in the sky. Anyone with a condition like asthma should keep taking their medication and avoid the smoke.

A Public Health England spokesman said: “So far, there have been no reports of any people experiencing ill effects from this fire. However, sheltering indoors provides protection from exposure to smoke, so we advise residents in areas affected by smoke from the fire to stay indoors and keep their doors and windows closed as much as possible to limit any exposure to smoke. Reports from the scene indicate that the smoke is not affecting areas close to the site at this point in time.”

“Anyone who suffers from respiratory conditions, such as asthma, is advised to ensure they have taken any prescribed medication and keep it to hand. If you are concerned about the effects of smoke on your health, telephone your GP or call 111 for advice.

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

"The emergency services are on-site dealing with the fire and the other agencies involved will continue to monitor the situation and issue any necessary further advice to the public, businesses and organisations affected.”

ITV Calendar have caught images of the fire from a helicopter.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue says it will take several days to put out the fire. Nigel Hutchinson is from the county's fire service.


The road leading up to the recycling plant has been shut because authorities are worried about dangers from the fumes which are now coming down in a low cloud. Firefighters are now using a water curtain which is used as a cooling method to try to stop the spread of the fire which started at 8.37 this morning.

14 fire engines are at the recycling plant, including crews from West Yorkshire and Humberside. Minster FM's Kevin Larkin has this report::

North Yorkshire County Council have advised schools to take sensible precautions and keep children indoors and windows closed if they can smell smoke. Otherwise schools should enable children to go to school as normal unless there is advice from the local authority to the contrary.

Fears have begun to be raised about possible pollution, an Environment Agency spokesperson told Minster FM: “We are working with North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and other agencies in response to a major fire at a recycling plant in Sherburn-in-Elmet."

“We have environment management officers on site and we are in contact with our National Air Quality Modelling Team for information and advice. The plume is estimated to be up to approximately 1,000 feet high."

“Our officers are ensuring that the run-off from the site is contained and that the local watercourse has not been affected. It is unlikely that there will be any impact on groundwater  and there are no drinking water abstractions downstream of the site."

“Any residents who can smell the smoke is advised to stay inside, and close all windows and doors.”

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Rob Hield of Hields Aviation in Sheburn in Elmet discribes the scene:


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Andrew Fricker gave us a ring from behind the Sheburn Aero Club and said the air is filling with a "toxic" smoke.


Andrew also sent Minster FM these photos of the fire:

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andrew sherburn 4andrew sherburn 2

Linda Gosling sent Minster FM this photo:

sherburn gosling

Graham Breeze (@simplythebeast) tweeted us this photo:

 sherburn Graham Breeze

Clare Scott (@MissClareScott) tweeted us this photo

sherburn clare scott

@SweetToothNim tweeted us this image of the smoke over Hob Moor Primary School in York:

sherburn sweettoothnim



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