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October 31, 3:30 pm
Firefighters from KFRS have now left the Westwood industrial estate site. They were on site from Saturday 15 September 2018 until Wednesday 10 October 2018. Throughout the incident, a number of agencies have worked together to manage the situation.
Now that the fire has been extinguished KFRS is no longer on site and responsibility for the site reverts to the landowner. The site is privately owned but because it is located in Thanet, we will be helping to ensure that the all the relevant organisations continue working in partnership.
Other agencies involved in this incident, include:
What did Thanet District Council do when notified of the waste originally?
Thanet District Council officers visited the site in May 2017 and reported concerns about waste to the Environment Agency. The Environment Agency served a notice on the operator to clear the waste from the site which was not complied with. Their investigation is ongoing.
Learn more about the work of the Environment Agency on their website.
In the initial stages of the incident Public Health England and the Environment Agency worked closely with KFRS to assess the impact of smoke and whether air quality monitoring was required. Taking into account various factors, including the nature of the fire and weather conditions, it was agreed that monitoring was not needed. People were advised to follow existing public health advice. All agencies involved remained in regular contact and kept the situation under review. The advice from Public Health England, to close windows and doors, has now been lifted as smoke is no longer coming from the site.
Will I suffer any long-term effects from breathing in the smoke?
Public Health England advises that during long-running fires, concentrations of substances in smoke are often below those which pose an immediate risk to health, but may still result in discomfort or temporary health effects. It should be remembered that short-term, temporary effects do not mean that long-term health effects should be expected. Those people who are affected will mostly have immediate effects such as coughing or a tight chest. These symptoms usually disappear very soon after the exposure has stopped and do not lead to any long term health problems.
Learn more about the advice from Public Health England via their website.