Swindon Skips fire: Crews leave scene as blaze continues

Swindon Skips fire at its height
Image caption Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said much of the fire was now burning underground

Fire crews have left the scene of a blaze at a Swindon industrial estate which has been burning since Wednesday.

About 750 tonnes of wood and waste were involved in the blaze at Swindon Skips on the Cheney Manor Industrial Estate.

The fire service said initial investigations into the cause of the fire were inconclusive, adding that it may never be known.

It said the fire was now small enough to be managed by the site owner and Swindon Borough Council.

Jim Mahoney, area manager at Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, said the blaze was now essentially "a bonfire, albeit a very large one".

"It is still burning and is likely to do so for a few more days yet, but it's not to the extent that would concern us," he said.

"Having said that, as a precaution, we've maintained our hose-line and firefighting capability there and we are also sending out officers on a periodical basis just to make sure - from a trained eye perspective - that there is no escalation of flare up from the fire."

Mr Mahoney said it would be waste of water to continue pouring it on to a fire that was still burning underground.

He said the water would also become contaminated, causing "greater environmental concern".

Crews were initially called to the scene on Wednesday evening and left on Sunday night.

Smoke from the fire has affected large parts of the town for several days.

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