Lean Quarry fire put out after burning for 13 hours
- 24 June 2010
- From the section Cornwall
Fire crews have been damping down a fire at a landfill site in south east Cornwall after spending more than a dozen hours putting out the flames.
More than 50 firefighters from Cornwall and Devon were in attendance at the height of the blaze, at Lean Quarry, east of Liskeard.
The fire, which was spotted at about 0430 BST, was described as a "major incident" by the emergency services.
At one point the fire led to minor road closures in the vicinity.
Methane gas levels were managed throughout the day to avoid explosion risks at the site, which is privately run by waste company Viridor.
The site takes industrial and domestic waste from Plymouth and Cornwall.
Environmental health officers also monitored the air in the neighbourhood and people in a nearby village and schools were told to stay inside because of burning plastic.
The fire broke out at the eastern end of the tip and the alarm was raised by a lorry driver delivering waste to the site.
Viridor site manager Terry Farrant said: "It was very foggy here this morning. One of our drivers came in at about 4.30 and, in the fog, he could see what was a glimmer and raised the alarm."
Smoke has been visible for miles around the site. It also blew across the A38 when fog and low cloud prevented it from dispersing.
Firefighters said they had been taking water from a lagoon on the site to tackle it.
They added that there had been considerable risk from methane, a gas that builds up naturally in landfill sites, and that they had monitored the situation closely.
Mr Farrant said the site's methane extraction equipment was used to remove gas.
At one point a number of small bangs - thought to be aerosol cans exploding - were heard by site staff, Mr Farrant said.
Two nearby schools, Trewidland Primary and Trenode Church of England School, did not to open until 1000 BST because of the fire.
Staff were advised to keep everyone indoors, plus shut the buildings' doors and windows. Similar advice was also given to households in the village of Horningtops by police.
The cause of the fire is not yet known. Mr Farrant added the recent hot weather may have contributed, but that was not certain.