Fire crews are likely to be at the scene of a smouldering blaze at a waste site in Huddersfield for up to a week as efforts continue to locate the seat of the fire.
The new owner of the former Hunter Group skip hire site off Queens Mill Road in Lockwood brought in an excavator on Thursday to shift some of the waste.
And firefighters were on hand to dampen down because of the danger of flames shooting into the air. as more oxygen reaches the fire.
It had been hoped the heart of the fire could have been reached on Thursday but a fire service spokesman said that it may take several more days.
“We have been there for three days and we think it may take another week to get it all sorted.
“As the waste is removed by the excavator we have to be on site to dampen it all down. There is a lot of waste to move, and these jobs take time.”
Firefighters monitored the site overnight on Thursday and are back again this morning.
The fire was first noticed when council environmental health officers saw wisps of smoke coming from the top of a huge pile of shredded waste containing plastic, wood and paper. It is possible it has been smouldering for many days.
It is believed to have started as a result of a build up of heat within the composted waste.
Jets of water have been directed onto the smouldering pile but fire crews are reluctant to use too much as the run off could pollute a nearby river.
Fire officers said the new operator of the site has helped by sending a digger to create a dam to prevent contaminated water from entering the river.
Residents have been calling for several weeks for the site to be cleared. There are hundreds of tonnes of waste at the tip, which has been described as “a stinking mess.”
The Environment Agency has staff at the scene, and is working with the council and the site owner to ensure he complies with its permit. The EA said it needs to give the new owner a reasonable amount of time to “bring the site into compliance” before enforcement was considered.