10K Tonnes Of Timber Ablaze In St Albans

12 November 2012, 13:56 | Updated: 12 November 2012, 14:56

Firefighters from across Hertfordshire are tackling a fire at a recycling centre in St Albans.

Flames and thick white smoke has been coming out of the site on Appspond Lane since Sunday night

Around 10,000 tonnes of timber is alight.

Darrell Keen, Assistant Chief Fire Officer on the scene told Heart how he thinks the fire started:

"Its almost certainly some form of spontaneous combustion inside, you've got a lot of materials in there, some of it wet, you're going to get a level of heating within the pile just purely because of the type of material involved now normally that doesn't get to a level where it's significant but in this case it has."

At the moment the Fire Service are working to contain the fire because with other mounds of timber close by there's a possibility it could spread. 

Darrell said it could take them weeks to get the fire out:

"There’s sufficient water here to prevent the spread but not enough to put it out quickly though in order to put it out quickly with the quantity of material you've got burning here we'd have to separate it and speed it apart anyway so that’s a massive task"

As well fire service, the National Grid are also on the scene, they've had to turn off a pylon about 100 meters away from the fire for safety reasons.

They're also monitoring the heat of the overhead cables.

Hertfordshire County Council told Heart the Highways agency are also monitoring the scene because of how close the fire is to the M1 motorway.

There’s concern that if the wind picks up it could lead to smoke from the fire being blown across the carriageway, which could lead to motorway being closed.