ESSEX FIREFIGHTERS have come in for criticism after quitting the scene of the fire but then issuing a warning after high winds have blown blankets of smoke over the A13.
The fire at the wood recycling yard in Orsett has been burning since Tuesday 5 July involving thousands of tonnes of waste wood which was being stored at the disused quarry site. Fire crews had maintained a presence at the site to ensure the fire remained under control and did not pose a threat to surrounding homes.
Assistant Divisional Officer Mark Earwicker said: “Essex County Fire and Rescue Service have assessed the situation at the recycling yard and the fire has now burned down significantly to the bottom of the pit. Fire crews will no longer remain on site, however ECFRS crews will continue to re-visit the site three times a day to monitor the fire. The site is managed by Rio Recycling and their staff will be on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week until the fire is completely out.
Hours later, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service issued a warning to motorists to take extra care when driving on roads close to the Recycling in Orsett-wood yard fire.
Due to the wind direction today blanket smoke was seen to be pouring onto the A13, A128 and Stanford Road. The fire service has advised drivers to drive slowly and safely as they drive through smoke on roads in that area.
A Fire safety consultant has criticised the fire service for leaving the scene. He said: “It would have been diplomatic to remain at the scene until these particularly high winds calm down.
“If a road traffic collision should occur then the fire service may come in for criticism.”