Fire crews at Newhaven blaze for a fourth day

Smoke from the fire at Skip It. Photo by Sean Macleod
Smoke from the fire at Skip It. Photo by Sean Macleod

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service crews remain at the Newhaven industrial site in North Quay Road for a fourth day today (Monday December 8).

Four fire engines and a number of special appliances are at Skip It Containers, along with the command unit.

In all 200 tonnes of compacted household waste is affected.

The initial call was received at 10.30am on Friday.

Crews said as with many incidents of this nature, it is taking considerable time to deal with the fire due the large volume of waste material involved.

They are working hard to minimise flare ups which would cause further smoke in the area, and to minimise any potential for water to cause pollution.

A further update is expected after 9am but it is predicted that crews will remain on site all day, supported by a number of other agencies.

A fire investigation will take place.

The service recognises that many residents are concerned about the smoke and is thanking the public for their patience.

“We ask that people continue to and follow health advice from Public Health England,” a spokesperson said.

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.”

Business safety and waste management advice

Business have to meet legal requirements on fire safety measures. Information and advice for businesses can be found here: http://www.esfrs.org/businessSafety/

Additional guidance for waste management sites can be found here:

http://www.ciwm.co.uk/web/FILES/WISH/WASTE_28_Reducing_fire_risk_at_waste_management_sites_issue_1_-_Oct_2014.pdf

The Environment Agency also has information about waste management: https://www.gov.uk/environmental-management/waste