Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) is to take new measures to put out a fire at a wood recycling site that has been burning since August.
The 5,000-tonne pile of wood at Mountnessing near Brentwood caught fire on 18 August and crews from Brentwood, Basildon, Rayleigh Weir, Ingatestone, Billericay and Southend were initially dispatched to deal with it.
ECFRS has now announced plans to accelerate burning, and will implement then on 17 October – weather permitting.
The process will increase smoke for a short period of time, but this will help firefighters extinguish the blaze more quickly.
Senior divisional officer Bob Wahl said: “The fire has now reduced by over 60% and in conjunction with our partners, Brentwood Borough Council and the Environment Agency, consideration is now being given to using mechanical machinery to create a fire break around the outside of the fire and also to aerate the wood pile to encourage more burning now that some areas of the wood pile have compacted.”
External contractors will bring in mechanical diggers and work under ECFRS’ guidance to create a moat around the burning wood pile.
The cost of the operation will be around £16,000 and will be met by ECFRS. “When balanced against our ongoing resource commitment and disruption to the local community, the expenditure is considered to be essential in attempting to bring this incident to a close,” Wahl said.