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Woodchip fire at south Wales recycling site

Emergency services in south Wales have been tackling a ”deep-seated” fire at a recycling site since the start of the week.

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS) was called to South Wales Wood Recycling at Bridgend in the early hours of Monday, 19 September.

SWFRS said it was a deep-seated fire of around 3,000 tonnes of woodchip in a stack that was 15m high, 20m wide and 100m long.

Since then, crews have been rotated using appliances including water bowsers, a hydraulic platform and a high-volume pump.

Regular meetings have been held on-site with Welsh Water, National Resources Wales, Public Health Wales, the police and the owners.

A command room has been in operation, monitoring weather, smoke plume, planning relief resources and updating the various parties.

“SWFRS have found it extremely challenging to locate sustainable water sources to resolve the incident,” an early statement from the fire service said. “We now have secured a sustainable supply from the river Ogmore, approximately 4km from the incident, using a high-volume pump.”

Later the fire service reported: “An ongoing multi-agency tactical plan has been formulated combining SWFRS resources supported by Welsh Water vehicles, and utilising specialist plant equipment provided by the site owner.”

SWFRS says it is in the early stages of investigation into the cause of the fire.

South Wales Wood Recycling is a family-run business founded in 2006. In January, the fire service announced it had finished a two-month operation to extinguish a fire in 20,000 tonnes of waste wood at a company site at Newport Docks.


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