No long-term health risk from Kiveton fire, insists doctor

A DOCTOR has reassured residents that here should be no long term risk to health after a fire which burned for four months.

Concerns were raised about impacts from the blaze, at Kiveton Park Industrial Estate, which South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue says was baled waste stored at an “illegal waste site”.

The Environment Agency has installed an external air quality monitoring unit close to the site and is looking into potential offences at the site.

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Dr Simon Padfield, health protection consultant with the UKHSA Yorkshire and Humber, said: “Now that the fire has been extinguished, there is no ongoing risk from smoke, so it is no longer necessary for people to limit their activities in downwind areas or shelter indoors.

“Off-site air quality monitoring and health surveillance did not find significant impacts from the fire, and we would not expect any longer-term risk to health from this incident.

“If anyone has specific health concerns, we would recommend they discuss these with their local healthcare practitioner in the first instance.”

SYFR area manager Simon Dunker praised the hard work of firefighters at the scene, and local residents for their patience.

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He said: “This has been a very protracted incident and we’d like to firstly give praise to our firefighters who have been on scene, seven days a week for several months, dealing with this fire.

“We’d also like to thank local residents for their patience.

“Whilst we appreciate it’s not been easy for them, their support and understanding around the complexity of this fire has been gratefully received.

“Lastly, this incident has very much been a team effort between several key partners, and we are fully committed to working with them all going forward to prevent future flare ups and, importantly, look at any lessons learned.”

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Environment Agency area manager Geoff Craig added: “I’d like to thank all the partners we’ve been working so closely with over the last several weeks.

“It has been a real collective effort.

“I’d also like to thank local residents for their patience and understanding.

“This has been a difficult fire to extinguish and a challenging incident for everyone involved.

“The Environment Agency remains committed to monitoring the site and overseeing the safe removal of waste material by the landowner.

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“We have already written to them to clarify our expectations and their responsibilities, and to set deadlines for receipt of their proposals.”

Sam Barstow, Rotherham Council’s assistant director for community safety and streetscene, said: “This has been a challenging fire to control and extinguish and we would like to thank all partners for their involvement so far and to local residents for their patience during this time.

“We remain committed to working with our partners to reduce the risk of a future fire and ensure the removal of waste from the site.”

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