Landfill fire raging four days on as 'blanket of smoke' covers town

Fire crews were called to the landfill site in Dunbar at around 1.40pm on Monday, August 28 to reports of a blaze.

Landfill fire continues four days on as ‘blanket of smoke’ covers Dunbar SFRS Scottish Borders East

Efforts to tamp down a landfill blaze in East Lothian are ongoing four days after the area was ignited.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) were initially called to the commercial landfill site in Dunbar at around 1.40pm on Monday to reports of a fire.

The service said that upon arrival, firefighters found a “significant area” of waste well alight, and crews remained at the scene until Tuesday around 5pm.

The fire is now being managed by site operator Valencia Waste Management staff, who are using heavy plant machinery and on-site water pumps to put it out. SFRS said they are monitoring the situation closely.

Current actions by Valencia include capping or covering the fire with soil, which will smother the flames and stop oxygen continuing to fuel the fire.

As of Thursday morning, it is estimated the fire is affecting less than 20% of the landfill pile.

SFRS east station commander Rick Stark, who is managing the incident, said “We estimate that as of 9am on Thursday, August 31, the fire is now affecting less than 20% of the landfill pile which represents a sizeable improvement.

“Whilst the fire has generated a blanket of smoke over Dunbar today, largely due to no wind, its size and scale has reduced significantly.

“Wind speeds are forecast to increase through the day which we hope will improve local conditions.”

He added that the fire is “well under control”, but crews will be deployed if there is any escalation.

Mr Stark also issued a warning to resident and motorists, saying: “While smoke continues to be visible, we would ask that residents keep windows and doors closed as a precaution. If travelling through smoke, motorists should keep windows closed, turn off air conditioning and keep their air vents closed.”

East Lothian Council issued a similar warning, saying the change of wind direction pushed plumes of smoke over more populated areas of Dunbar.

It advised residents to keep windows and doors closed, and to avoid being outside for long periods of time if the smoke is particularly bad.

Schools within Dunbar and surrounding area have also been advised to keep pupils in at breaks and lunchtimes.

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