Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 5°C

min temp: 5°C

Search

Shotley/Harwich: Peninsular blighted by cloud of ‘acrid’ smoke from 4,000 tonne pile of smouldering wood-chips

18:28 25 February 2014

Smoke from a wood-chip fire at Harwich International Port drifts across the Shotley Peninsular.

Smoke from a wood-chip fire at Harwich International Port drifts across the Shotley Peninsular.

Archant

Smoke from a 4,000 tonne pile of smouldering wood-chips has been making life a misery for people living down wind.

shares

Shotley Parish Council has been inundated with calls from concerned residents “severely affected by the hazy, acrid smoke,” billowing from Harwich International Port where the fire started early Friday morning.

Parish clerk Dina Bedwell said she had been “passed from pillar to post” in her attempts to find help resolving the problem and is calling for assurances from the authorities that measures have been taken to prevent the issue from returning.

“The parish council believes more effort should be made to extinguish the fire and does not accept that the only solution is to let it be burnt out,” she said.

The council has also expressed concerns for those with respiratory problems, young children and the elderly, labelling the medical advice - to keep windows and doors closed - as “not just impractical but unrealistic”.

Keiron Durrant, who works as a noise consultant at his home in Ganges Road, said the unpleasant smell had blighted the whole peninsular for the vast majority of the past four days.

“We had a two hour reprieve on Monday when the sky cleared and we could breathe normally again but then it returned just as bad,” he said.

The 41-year-old father-of-two says the smoke has been so thick that ships have been sounding their horns to navigate the local waters.

He believes the authorities’ response to the problem would have been more urgent if a larger settlement than Shotley had been affected.

“If this was blowing over Harwich or Dovercourt they’d be there 24 hours of the day trying to put it out and I think people here are a bit fed up that we’ve been left to deal with it,” he said.

Essex Fire and Rescue was called to the port shortly before 8am on Friday when they were confronted with a vast pile of burning chips 50 metres across and 20 metres tall at its highest point.

Two crews helped tackle the fire and a digger was used to break up the pile. They left the port at 2pm on Friday to allow the chips to burn in a “controlled way” but had to return on Saturday after it flared up again.

On Saturday evening, Essex Fire and Rescue handed control of the site back to Harwich Port Fire Service, which has been “working hard” to stop the smouldering 24 hours a day ever since.

“ Harwich International Port sincerely apologises for the inconvenience caused by the smoke from the wood fire and we have been working 24 hours per day since Saturday to resolve the situation,” a spokesman said.

“Following attendance by the county fire brigade we have had our own fire engine permanently on site and also contracted several excavators to stop the wood smoke as quickly as we possibly can.”

shares

7 comments

  • will burn on for weeks

    Report this comment

    barry chark

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014

  • It is also affecting people like myself in Walton and the Trimleys so really needs dealing with.

    Report this comment

    A Smith

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • It's been like living in the middle of a bonfire. Words cannot describe the acrid stench. Even with windows closed, you can still smell it - awful.

    Report this comment

    Linnet

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014

  • I noticed this yesterday and again today as I entered Trimley. It smells awful like a dirty ashtray. What with that and the stink of manure from the fields around Seven Hills my trips to Trimley are quite memorable - but for the wrong reasons - lol!

    Report this comment

    Driven Roundabend

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • Not impressed that common error of using adjective instead of noun; peninsula in this report.

    Report this comment

    Peter Wood

    Thursday, February 27, 2014

  • We live directly opposite from where the fire is and our whole house stinks of smoke! Its been very difficult to sleep at night because of the acrid smell. We should be compensated for all the cleaning we are going to have to do once the fire is finally out as we are going to have to wash everything in the house to get rid of the terrible smell of acrid smoke

    Report this comment

    jason

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

  • I guess it's this I can smell on the A14 around Levington. Was paranoid my car was alight the other morning

    Report this comment

    L S

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

An artist's impression of the street scene at Wolsey Grange.

A rejected bid to create almost 500 homes on land near Ipswich is to be reconsidered – following allegations a district councillor was handed a note during the original hearing.


A trolley bus at the junction of Duke Street (right) and Fore Hamlet (behind the bus) in April 1963. (Photo by Alan Valentine).

It is more than 50 years since the last trolley bus service ran on the streets of Ipswich, writes David Kindred.

High water at Felixstowe Ferry. Archive image. Photo: Stephen Squirrell/citizenside.com

Flood alerts are in place tonight along the Essex and Suffolk coastline.

Jo Harris worked at the B&M store in Copdock until 2013, and despite being an employee there was issued two fines of £70 for parking.

A group of former employees at a store in Ipswich have been left distraught after car park fines mistakenly issued more than two years ago has left them facing a court appearance.

Two charged over cannabis factory

A78-year-old Ipswich man is one of two people to have been charged after police raided a cannabis factory near Stowmarket.

Bucklesham Grange care home, Ipswich celebrate shrove Tuesday with a pancake race and pancake tossing 
Debbie and John with Daniel rowark

Flipping good fun was had by all at Bucklesham Grange Care Home this afternoon as a range of games and activities were put on to mark Shrove Tuesday.

Local campaigners  gather in silent protest against the prospective development of rushmere memorial woodland and small holding

A site registered as an asset of community value last year faces losing the status already after a High Court battle against housing plans was rejected.

Northgate High School GV.

A former teacher at an Ipswich secondary school is to appear in court charged with alleged sex offences involving teenage girls.

Do you know where this church is?

Take a look at our selection of photos - how many Suffolk churches can you identify?

Live:News updates from Suffolk and Essex

Yesterday, 14:39
Share your pancake photos with us

Live news feed bringing you the latest headlines, sports stories and opinion from across Suffolk and north Essex.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24