Ongoing fire incident at Gayton Road, Bawsey - update

30 November 2017

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS), the Borough of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, the Environment Agency and Norfolk Police have issued an update on the situation at Bawsey, King’s Lynn.

  • The size of the pile has been revised and is now estimated to contain 1,000 tonnes of household waste
  • NFRS is taking proactive steps to extinguish the fire.  A construction grabber is being used to collect and submerge parts of the pile in water before moving it out of the fire’s reach.  Working continuously during daylight hours and into early evening, it’s estimated that it will take three days to complete this task.
  • NFRS will continue to provide 24 hour presence until further notice
  • Due to higher winds today smoke is dispersing more quickly
  • Environmental Health staff from the borough council continue to undertake regular visits to assess any potential impact of the plume on the local community
  • To date, no signs of pollution have been observed in the local rivers and ground water.  The Environment Agency will continue to attend the site and monitor the environment.
  • Dr David Edwards, Consultant in Health Protection, Public Health England East continues to advise that residents in areas affected by the smoke should stay indoors, keep their doors and windows closed, and tune in to the local radio station for advice and information.  Motorists who have to travel through the smoke should keep windows closed, turn off air conditioning and keep their air vents closed.
  • Any smoke can be an irritant and as such, if people need to be outdoors, they are advised to avoid outside areas affected by any smoke or ash, or to limit the time that they spend in them 
  • Some of the substances present in smoke can irritate the lining of the air passages, the skin and the eyes.  Respiratory symptoms include coughing and wheezing, breathlessness, sputum (phlegm) production and chest pain. If symptoms occur, people should seek medical advice or call NHS 111 
  • Chemicals in the smoke can worsen existing health problems like asthma.  People with asthma should carry their inhaler.
  • As a precaution, residents within the local area are advised to keep windows and doors shut, and avoid spending unnecessary time outdoors

Anyone with health concerns is advised to contact their GP or contact the NHS 111 service out of hours.

This is a multi-agency response involving the following agencies:

  • Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service
  • King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council
  • Norfolk County Council 
  • Environment Agency
  • Public Health England
  • Norfolk Police

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