Fire at Harwich

The fire started when the 5, 000 tonne pile of chippings, which has been stored at Harwich since September,  spontaneously combusted. 
The fire has now been burning for several days and the best guess of the Babergh and Tendring environmental services is it could continue to burn for another 4-7 days as the Port of Felixstowe fire service try to dismantle the pile under "controlled conditions". In the meantime, the smoke will in all probability continue to blow over to Shotley, and if it reaches the level it did last night again, they concede that there could be a public health risk , and while the smoke may not be toxic, it is contaminating people's homes and possessions, which are going to remain contaminated by the smell for some considerable time. 

However, Babergh and Tendring do not propose to do anything at this point other than monitor the situation.
If the fire had been set deliberately, they would issue an abatement notice ordering the port authority to put the fire out immediately or face action, but they feel that as it was an accident, the port will simply say that they are taking all necessary steps to deal with the emergency. 

By Steven Leach on February 25th, 2014