Control measure knowledge

Fires at open-air storage sites, particularly those storing combustible waste can create large volumes of smoke and fire water containing a wide range of pollutants. The direct application of water with or without firefighting additives to stacks of burning material is often ineffective and may generate large volumes of smoke and contaminated fire water.

For specific guidance on fires involving waste sites see National Operational Guidance: Fires in waste sites (including renewable energy facilities).

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Develop operational procedure for incidents involving fires at waste sites

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Consider the use of firefighting additives such as foam for small waste fires and prevent fire spread. (Note: For larger waste fires, foam may provide rapid 'knock down' but often has minimal long term effects on larger waste fires)
  • Consider separating burning material from the fire using heavy plant and extinguishing it with:

    • Water jets 
    • In bunded pools
    • Tanks of water
    • Controlled burn
    • Burial with approval of the appropriate environment agency
  • Make use of specialist fire and rescue service or on-site environmental protection equipment

  • Where possible, recycle the fire water run-off. See Recycling fire water run-off.