Fire at Wiltshire recycling plant likely to take 'some days' to put out

  • Watch Caron Bell's report.

The fire service says a huge blaze at a recycling centre near Devizes is likely to take days to put out.

Since firefighters were called just after 11pm on Wednesday 17 November, smoke has been billowing from the Grist Environmental recycling site near Nursteed, visible for miles around.

On site, mountains of non-recyclable rubbish are still burning and people are being urged to lose their doors and windows.

Damien Bence, Group Manager at Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "We were confronted with a pile of around 30,000m3. And that was well alight.

"It doesn't take long for fire to get into this material, especially during the dry periods, cos it's stored outside.

"And with this wind it's managed to get hold quite quickly."

Fire crews in Wiltshire have urged residents to keep their windows and doors closed. Credit: ITV News

The fire service say they may never know exactly what started the blaze, but told ITV News the culprit is very often batteries.

Damien said: "Any battery has got the potential to cause a fire if it short-circuits or comes into contact with another material. So any battery from your watch battery to your AAAs, your AAs."

The site's Technical Manager Paul Mortimer has thanked the fire service. He said: "Our grateful thanks go out to the fire service as usual because they reacted really quickly and always very professional.

"There was sufficient fire breaks in place to stop the fire transmitting across the rest of the site."

The fire service has reminded the public batteries should be disposed of in specialist recycling containers, not in general rubbish.