Further updates received via email from HDC:
Ward Members and Parish Council Clerks
As an update following a multi-agency teleconference this morning, involving Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue, Cambridgeshire Police, East of England Ambulance Service, Public Health England, the Environment Agency, and representatives of District and County Councils.
The Fire and Rescue service have been monitoring a fire at Envar Compost, Woodhurst that broke out on the 31st December 2019, with a recent increase in the number of complaints from surrounding residents noted over the last weekend, particularly as the wind was from the west pushing the smoke plume towards Buntisham, but also Somersham and Colne. Today, the wind has moved to a more north westerly, pushing the plume towards Over although a number of smoke and odour complaints continue to be received from the Bluntisham area.
Public Health England are satisfied that the current position, as at 10am this morning, does not present a health risk to the general local residential population and whilst odour may be present they remain satisfied that the overall health risk is low. Any local residents with health concerns should discuss the concerns with their local GP, or use the NHS non-emergency number 111. Calls, and local GP referrals, are also being monitored by the multi-agency group to ensure that this advice remains appropriate.
In terms of the fire, the Fire Service advise is that the most appropriate action, at least for this week, is to allow the fire to continue to burn and as such burn itself out. The ability to engage active firefighting is restricted due to available space to break down the compost storage piles, but also a concern that applying water will result in a crust forming which will not extinguish the fire, but push the fire into the compost resulting in a longer duration fire. The Environment Agency also expressed some concern regarding the control of water running off the site as a result of active firefighting. At this time, and based on information from the fire since 31st December, it is estimated that the fire will last a further 1 or 2 weeks, with a review of the potential to engage active firefighting expected on Monday 14th January, until this time the fire service, along with the management of Envar, will continue to monitor the situation. This includes visits twice daily by colleagues from Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service.
The media strategy is being managed by Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service, and I would encourage, if not already, you to follow the Twitter feeds from Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue, copied and retweeted on Huntingdonshire District Council where the most current information is being released.
Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue : https://twitter.com/cambsfrs?lang=en
Huntingdonshire District Council : https://twitter.com/huntsdc?lang=en
Should you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact me
Head of Community
Huntingdonshire District Council
St Mary’s Street