Bridgend waste wood fire ‘extinguished’

A major fire at a waste wood recycling yard in Bridgend has been extinguished around five days after the blaze first broke out, the company running the site has said.

Picture courtesy of South Wales Fire and Rescue Service

Picture courtesy of South Wales Fire and Rescue Service

Fire crews were called to the site at Locks Yard, Heol Llan, operated by South Wales Wood Recycling Ltd, at around 3.30am on Monday 19 September. Fire crews attended to tackle the fire in a segregated pile consisting of between 1,000 and 2,000 tonnes of recycled wood chip (see letsrecycle.com story).

South Wales Wood Recycling has confirmed that the blaze was extinguished on Saturday (24 September) although South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS) has yet to issue a ‘stop notice’ which indicates that officers have left the scene.

Work to tackle the fire had been ‘extremely challenging’, SWFRS had claimed, due to a lack of sustainable water sources in the immediate area – with water having been pumped from the River Ogmore around 4 kilometres away from the site using a high volume pump.

Natural Resources Wales and Welsh Water had also closely monitored the efforts to tackle the fire.

Impact

In a statement issued today, a spokesman for South Wales Wood Recycling, said: “The company worked closely and vigorously with Natural Resources Wales, Welsh Water and South Wales Fire and Rescue Service to ensure the impact to both the environment and nearby communities was minimised as effectively and efficiently as possible.

“The company worked around the clock to tackle the issue and the incident was resolved on Saturday afternoon. The company would like to thank Natural Resources Wales and the South Wales Fire and Rescue services, our staff, colleagues and local community for their support, hard work and diligence in assisting to resolve the situation.“

An investigation into the fire is continuing – with fire officers yet to establish a cause for the blaze – but South Wales Wood Recycling is offering a cash reward for potential information into the cause of the fire due to what it claims are ‘suspicious circumstances’ surrounding the incident.

Activities

South Wales Wood Recycling handles up to 2,000 tonnes per month of civic amenity site and construction and demolition wood as well as broken pallets and cases. Material taken to the site is shredded and screened to supply chipboard factories, biomass fuel or for animal bedding.

Following the fire the company has also opted to withdraw a planning application for a proposed recycling site in nearby South Cornelly in order, it claims, to focus its resources on ‘ensuring that the ongoing incident can be brought to a swift conclusion’.

The spokesman added: “We acknowledge the serious nature of the event and the effect it has had on the local community and its residents. In respect of this, the company will now turn its attentions and resources to a full and thorough investigation. The incident continues to be investigated by the police and the fire service and we will also be conducting our own full and through investigation.”