Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has urged waste operators across North Wales to remain vigilant and undertake regular checks to reduce the risk of fire.
It follows recent fires at waste sites in Wrexham and Flintshire, which according to NRW, tied up “vital resources” from themselves and emergency services.
Waste regulation team leader for NRW, Louise Peel, said: “Protecting communities and the environment that surrounds them is essential for us and part of doing that means making sure our waste is managed safely and correctly.
“We are asking operators of waste sites to remain watchful during this dry period. Fires can not only cause devastating consequences to business operations on site, but also pose a pollution risk to the environment and local communities.
“Some waste permit holders may be required to have a Fire Prevention and Mitigation Plan (FPMP) for operations and we would urge waste operators to take this opportunity to review their FPMP in line with our guidance and ensure that that they have undertaken any checks outlined in their plan.”
NRW advised waste operators to read the Fire Prevention and Mitigation Plan guidance.
The body added that it offers useful information regarding waste stockpile maximum sizes and stances to act as fire breaks and other fire presentation guidance.
The fire in Wrexham saw firefighters called to attend the “large” fire at a landfill site owned by Enovert on 27 May.
Crews from Johnston, Wrexham, Ellesmere, Chirk and Llangollen tackled the fire at the Hafod Quarry landfill in Ruabon.
Residents were urged to keep windows and doors shut due to toxic fumes.
Firefighters dealing with the ongoing incident at Hafod Quarry landfill site in #Ruabon are advising local residents that the wind direction has now changed and smoke will now be affecting parts of #Wrexham town.
Please keep windows and doors closed 🏡
We will keep you updated
— North Wales Fire #DiogeluCymru #KeepWalesSafe (@NorthWalesFire) May 28, 2020
The second fire in Flintshire took place at a plastics recycling centre owned by Perry and Evans on Deeside Industrial Estate on the 28 May. It involved a “large quantity of cardboard and plastic”.
Crews remained on the scene until 2.30am on the morning of 29 May. Crews from Deeside returned to the scene to inspect later in the morning.
Fire at recycling centre Deeside Industrial estate
Crews attended a fire involving a large quantity of cardboard and plastic at a recycling centre last night. https://t.co/BT1h7e0ZCc pic.twitter.com/hGN2kDrzaH
— North Wales Fire #DiogeluCymru #KeepWalesSafe (@NorthWalesFire) May 29, 2020
Paul Scott, senior fire safety manager for North Wales Fire and Rescue Service added: “These fires have put tremendous pressure on our resources for a protracted period, at a time when we are focusing on reducing demand – our aim is to ensure that everything is done to prevent similar fires in the future.
“The dry weather we have been experiencing means that fires can spread very quickly – and we’d appeal to waste operators to take extra care and ensure relevant plans are followed to help prevent fires from breaking out.”