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Swindon fire still burning

Firefighters in Swindon are still tackling a blaze at Averies Recycling, 10 days after it started.

Wiltshire Fire Service was called to the site on 21 July and firefighters were confronted with 1,000 tonnes of burning waste.

They struggled to contain the fire because of a lack of space and worked with the recycling firm to remove hundreds of tonnes of waste to create room to get closer to the affected material.

An embankment was built along the edge of the site to prevent contaminated fire water entering the River Cole.

Averies Recycling was fined £73,000 in 2013 for allowing dust to escape from its site and operating without a licence and the Environment Agency (EA) has revealed that the company had been warned about fire risks.

The EA said in a statement: “Staff have inspected Averies’ site on several occasions this year as part of our routine regulation of permitted waste sites. We have raised concerns about fire risks and have visited the site with the fire service.

“A number of improvement conditions were placed on the site requiring changes in site infrastructure and management to meet the permit conditions.”

Meanwhile, local residents and businesses continue to be affected by smoke from the fire and the council has advised that people stay inside with their windows closed.

* This article was updated for a minor correction on 25 November 2014.

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