Julie Elliott MP

Standing up for Sunderland Central

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Update on the waste fire at the former Alex Smiles site

Officers from the Environment Agency have been on site since May 14, to help minimise the environmental impact of the fire – which is still burning.

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Air quality monitoring equipment has been set up near the site to monitor the smoke from the fire. The incident has been declared as a major incident by the local authority.

 

 

The fire is expected to burn for longer than originally estimated, due to the quantity of waste, the deep-seated nature of the fire and difficulties in accessing the site to put out the fire.

It is my understanding that machinery is to be used to remove some of the waste and that part of a building may be knocked down to allow firefighters better access to tackle the blaze.

In the meantime the advice from Public Health England remains to:

- Keep doors and windows closed.
- Residents in areas affected by the smoke should stay indoors, keep their doors and windows closed, and tune in to the local radio station for advice and information.
- Motorists who have to travel through the smoke should keep windows closed, turn off air conditioning and keep their air vents closed.
- It's important that local residents understand that the risks to their health are low, however because any smoke is an irritant, it can make people's eyes and throat sore.
- People with asthma and other respiratory conditions may be particularly susceptible to the smoke and should carry and use their medication (such as inhalers) as usual. The general advice therefore remains that if possible people should try to remain out of the smoke.

*** If you have any concerns about the smoke's impact on your health please call your GP surgery for advice or contact the NHS 111 service.

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