Agency to monitor air quality after North East tyre fire

Fire involving around 15,000 tonnes of waste tyres leads to concerns over air quality in Yorkshire

Environment Agency officers are monitoring the effect that a huge fire at a tyre recycling facility is having on air quality in the North East of England.

Fire crews from North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and Humberside have attended the site at Lennerton Lane, Sherburn-in-Elmet near York, after being called to the site at 8:37 am today (January 16).

The plume of smoke from the Newgen Recycling fire is estimated to be around 1,000 feet high

The plume of smoke from the Newgen Recycling fire is estimated to be around 1,000 feet high

Up to 15,000 tonnes of waste tyres are thought to have been involved in the fire, which has created large volumes of smoke — visible from several miles away.

The Newgen Recycling facility is permitted to recycle up to 50,000 tonnes of scrap tyres, rubber waste, tyre wire and textile materials from commercial sources. The firm produces rubber chippings which are sold for use in landscaping.

The company could not be reached for comment, when contacted by


A spokeswoman for the Environment Agency, said: “We are working with North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and other agencies in response to a major fire at a recycling plant in Sherburn-in-Elmet.

“We have environment management officers on site and we are in contact with our National Air Quality Modelling Team for information and advice. The plume is estimated to be up to approximately 1,000 feet high.

“Our officers are ensuring that the run-off from the site is contained and that the local watercourse has not been affected. It is unlikely that there will be any impact on groundwater  and there are no drinking water abstractions downstream of the site.

“Any residents who can smell the smoke is advised to stay inside, and close all windows and doors.”

Fire crews are using a water curtain which is used as a cooling method to try to restrict the spread of the fire.


North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service has advised residents living nearby to keep windows and doors shut while the blaze is tackled. Schools close to the site have also been contacted to ensure that children remain indoors until the fire is brought under control.

In a statement released this morning North Yorkshire Fire Service said: “Fire crews are at the scene of a fire at a recycling plant. A large amount of tyres are on fire. Crews are using 3 hose reel jets to tackle the blaze and the occupier of the site is using a digger to create a fire break.

“The officers at the scene have now requested that a total of 14 fire engines are sent to the scene of this incident, along with a High Volume Pump which can move large quantities of water over a larger distance than a normal fire engine. It also includes some fire engines from West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.”


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10 years ago

Have they specifically warned people with asthma, bronchitis & COPD etc to wear face masks and not go out at all? By loud speakers? Have they told parents to keep infants inside? Is anyone monitoring the fine particle pollution l& chemical levels? If I lived near this I’d be dead by now – poor residents – more workers and emergency services. Will those responsible be fined or what? How horrible – and how unhealthy.

Thanks for the info you provided – always good. JC

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