Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of MRW, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Fire at wood site could burn for a week

fire nazeing 1

A fire at a wood recycling site is expected to burn for a week, according to firefighters.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) attended the fire at the Enviro Wood Recycling site at Birchwood Industrial Estate, Hoe Lane in Nazeing, Essex.

The pile of wood, which was completely alight at 5pm on 16 May, measures approximately 60m x 30m and was still burning into its third day and being tackled by crews from seven different areas including Harlow, Chelmsford and Stansted. 

Firefighters are using hoses to protect the surrounding area, with the road closed at times for the tenders to access fire hydrants.

ECFRS said that crews will continue to work through the night and it is likely to take up to a week to extinguish due to the large volume of wood.

The site is currently described as “burning under control”, with two fire engines remaining on the site on 18 May, down from three the previous day.

A spokesman from the Environment Agency said: ”Our officers continue to work with ECFRS to monitor the impacts and advise on environmental issues while they carry out a controlled burn of the waste. We will continue to monitor any impact of fire water run-off into the Nazeing Brook.

”Since August 2016 the site has been operated by Enviro Wood Recycling. The site operator currently has a waste exemption for the storage and processing of waste wood up to 500 tonnes in any seven day period. At a recent site inspection, our officers found that waste levels on site were near to, but still below the permitted tonnage.

”Prior to the fire, we had identified potential issues regarding dust and were taking steps to improve operations at the site. We have also been working with officers from Epping Forest District Council regarding any potential impacts on local communities from operations at the site and to assess whether the operations are being carried out within the terms of the operator’s exemption.”

On Monday 22nd May, one fire engine remained on site, with the pile separated into two. One being timber, which is no longer burning and another of peat which was still burning but expected to also be extinguished within 24 hours, with crews monitoring. 

Readers' comments (1)

  • After all the talk about taking precautions to limit the effects of a fire it seems the authorities have allowed one enormous heap of wood waste with predictable results. The official operator only came into being in November 2016. Such operations need to be audited environmentally and economically from start to finish. Does it look like ONLY 500 tonnes? If it was only 500 tonnes and the fire was put out, rather than burning out, there would now be at least 1,000 tonnes to dispose off @, say, £125 per tonne = £1.25 million. If the firm now goes bust why did the EA allow the operation in the first place?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.