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Machinery being sourced to help tackle waste fire in Long Bennington near Grantham

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Heavy plant machinery is set to be used as part of a plan to tackle a waste fire that broke out in a village near Grantham.

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue are sourcing extra heavy plant machinery in response to a waste fire that continues to burn off Fen Lane, Long Bennington nearly a month after it broke out.

Other authorities involved in the response to the fire have also released statements, offering advice to local residents and outlining their intentions going forward.

The Fen Lane fire. Photo: RSM Photography (51571589)
The Fen Lane fire. Photo: RSM Photography (51571589)

This morning, Councillor Alexander Maughan compiled multiple statements in a Facebook group for Long Bennington residents on behalf of the fire service, UK Health Security Agency, Environment Agency and South Kesteven District Council.

The fire and rescue statement read: "Plans have been developed to tackle the fire in consultation with our partners. Extra heavy plant machinery is being sourced to spread out the remaining burning materials and speed up the process.

"We should be able to confirm arrangements early this week and then start on-site activities.

"The site itself and any impacts from firefighting will continue to be monitored by supporting partners to ensure we take any other action as needed."

Coun Maughan also included an update provided by SKDC, which said: "We will be engaging directly with residents in the immediate vicinity of the site (Fen Lane), to ensure they are aware of the plan and recommendations from the UK Health Security Agency.

"We will continue to monitor the smoke impact on the wider community, feeding this back to the other agencies to help inform the ongoing response."

UK Health Security Agency, formerly Public Health England, advise local residents to close their windows if there is an outdoor odour or visible smoke and to use weather forecasts to identify times your property is downwind and upwind, giving residents a better idea of when it is safer to have their windows open.

It was also confirmed that air quality monitoring equipment is to be installed in the area to monitor the levels of smoke, with authorities to continue to visit the site regularly whilst the plan is implemented.

The UK Health Security Agency statement added: "The smoke does not pose an immediate risk to health but may still result in discomfort or temporary health effects.

"People with health conditions that affect breathing, such as asthma, may be more sensitive to the effects of smoke exposure. This is because some of the chemicals in the smoke can cause irritation of the airways leading to coughing and shortness of breath.

"Some people can become more sensitive to the smoke as time goes on.

"Smoke and odours can also cause temporary symptoms such as headache, nausea, dizziness, watery eyes, stuffy nose, irritated throat, cough or wheeze, sleep problems and stress, particularly when exposures are prolonged or repeated.

"If you have any concerns about the smoke’s impact on your health please call your GP surgery for advice or contact the NHS 111 service."

The Environment Agency added that they are "continuing to advise and support partners with respect to environmental impacts of the fire, we are also continuing to lead on the waste investigations at the site and seek the remediation of the site by the landowners".

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