Firefighters are expected to remain at the scene of a major fire at a recycling plant near Ancaster for much of the weekend as smoke continues to billow from the smouldering waste.
Around 55 firefighters have been at the scene of a major blaze at a recycling plant near Ancaster, which Divisional Commander Sean Taylor has said in an interview with the Sleaford Standard is now under control, although up to three relief crews will remain on site at the Mid UK Recycling facility on the High Dike at Barkston Heath damping down and monitoring the situation.
Unofficially, the company has suggested that the fire is believed to have started from a lithium battery igniting waste in the section of the plant dedicated to handling Lincolnshire's kerbside recycling. (See more on that here.)
Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service has reported that 13 crews and auxiliary appliances have been dealing with the ‘major incident’ after it was reported at around 1.30am this morning. A major incident was declared at 2.35am and 13 appliances were called out at 3.20am coming from across the county including a high volume pump from Gainsborough and a command support unit from Market Rasen. They say the incident is no longer being treated as a major incident. Another 10 relief crews were drafted in by 7am. No injuries have been reported.
The incident incident was scaled back after 1pm down to four relief crews.
Lincolnshire Police and East Midlands Ambulance crews were also called initially to assist with the incident and the police force's drones were also used to help direct the efforts on the ground.
Inspector Ed Delderfield, Drone Team Manager at Lincolnshire Police, told The Standard: "My officers provided situational awareness for the fire commanders giving a general overview of the site assisting to identify hazards and threats and provided video footage of the smoke plume to Environment Agency colleagues showing its size and direction."
The High Dike is still coned off to traffic between Ancaster crossroads and Londonthorpe Lane. The A153 is reopened and passable with care due to hoses laid across the road.
This was causing a build up of traffic on the A153 / B6403 crossroads generating two miles of tailbacks according to the fire service. Drivers are advised to avoid the area.
The fire was confined to the household kerbside recycling area operated for district councils in Lincolnshire and the Lincolnshire Waste Partnership.
Lincolnshire County Council and the Environment Agency, are investigating the circumstances around today's fire, said a county council spokesman.
"Alternative measures are being implemented to deal with recycling collections until the situation at Ancaster becomes clear."
David Sayer, chairman of Ancaster Parish Council, has expressed concerns about the latest fire. He said: "We are clearly very concerned regarding the fire at Mid UK.
"Since the last major fire Mid UK have been very forthright and open about their site, allowing us to visit and attending Parish Council meetings. They have been forced by legislation and also their own commercial operations to implement significant fire suppression systems, alarm warning systems and material separation all to prevent fires and stop fires spreading
"In addition they have the lake that they have created as a source of water.
"Therefore we are very keen to understand how this fire has arisen and what they will propose to ensure this does not reoccur. This will clearly take a few weeks/months and I assume that the fire brigade and South Kesteven District Council will also want the same information."
The Environment Agency has stated: "Our officers have been on-site since early this morning supporting Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue crews as they respond to this fire. We're monitoring run-off from the site to prevent pollution and will continue working with emergency services and local authorities throughout the day."