Wilton UK Wood Recycling plant fire left to 'burn itself out'

UK Wood Recycling plant fire
Image caption Cleveland Fire Brigade said the fire could burn for a further week

Thousands of tonnes of wood which have been on fire at a Teesside recycling plant for a week are to be left to burn out.

The fire began on 23 December in a stack of wood in the UK Wood Recycling plant at the Wilton site near Redcar.

Cleveland Fire Brigade said allowing the 16,000 tonnes of wood to burn was the best way of reducing the impact of smoke on surrounding properties.

It is thought the fire could burn for a further week.

The company has apologised for the effects of the fire on neighbouring homes.

Image caption Some 16,000 tonnes of wood are on fire

Vicki Hughes, group business development director, said: "Once again we would like to apologise to local residents for the ongoing issues that have been caused by this fire."

Steve McCarten of Cleveland Fire Brigade added: "We have had to take up a defensive position, where we are allowing it to burn itself out.

"We believe this is the best way to reduce the amount of smoke that is likely to be produced.

"If we pour any more water on it than is necessary it will just produce even more smoke than it has done so already."

Nearby properties have been urged to keep windows and doors closed.

The wood was destined for a power station at Wilton.

An investigation into the cause of the fire will not begin until it is out.

Image caption Nearby homes are being urged to keep windows and doors closed

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