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Running or pooling fuel fires

Hazard Knowledge

On some waste sites, such as end of life vehicle sites, there may be large quantities of waste fuel and oil stored. If involved in fire these may create running fuel fires.



Figure 4: Running fuel fire - courtesy of West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service

Some waste fires that involve chipped rubber, plastics or tyres can produce the same characteristics as running or pooling fuel fires. The intense heat from these types of fire can result in the waste becoming molten within the stack. The outer layer can form a hardened crust, either as a result of cooling by firefighting media or by being exposed to cooler atmospheric temperatures.

If the outer crust splits or becomes damaged by other forces, the molten fuel will run freely away, following the contours of the ground. This places fire and rescue service personnel and equipment, particularly in low-lying locations, at risk.