Spain: Massive fire breaks out at tire dump near Madrid | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

Current Conditions

10.6°C

Spain: Massive fire breaks out at tire dump near Madrid

Billowing black smoke rises from behind large housing blocks in Sesena, central Spain, Friday, May 13, 2016. A massive fire is raging at a sprawling tire dump in a town near Madrid, sending a spectacular cloud of thick black smoke into the air that's visible for at least 30 kilometers (20 miles). Ten teams of firefighters are trying to put out the blaze at the tire dump in the town of Sesena, still raging more than 10 hours after it started. (AP Photo/Paul White)
May 13, 2016 - 7:46 AM

MADRID - A massive fire broke out Friday at a sprawling tire dump in a town near Madrid, sending a spectacular billowing cloud of thick black smoke into the air that was visible for at least 30 kilometres (20 miles).

Ten teams of firefighters were sent to try to put out the blaze in Sesena, but it was still raging more than 12 hours after it started.

Madrid firefighting inspector Luis Villarroel said firebreaks they had made helped confine the blaze and restrict it to one small active front. He said that by Friday afternoon the smoke had lost much of its density and he hoped the blaze could be brought under control later in the day.

Two water-carrying helicopters doused the vast expanse of tires while the army's emergency unit said it would send in two water-carrying planes to help fight the blaze.

Residents in several parts of Sesena were ordered to stay indoors and shut their windows. Classes at one school were cancelled and authorities urged drivers travelling nearby to keep their windows closed. Two major highways pass close to Sesena.

Authorities suspect someone intentionally started the fire before dawn at the tire dump, thought to be Europe's largest, Sesena Mayor Carlos Velazquez said in an interview on Cadena Ser radio.

Winds in the area pushed the banks of cloud south away from the town and expected rains could help extinguish the fire.

Spain's leading El Pais newspaper reported that the dump holds 100,000 metric tons (110,000 tons) of used vehicle tires and lies less than a kilometre (a mile) from residential blocks.

The dump, known locally as the tire cemetery, was declared illegal in 2003 as it lacked proper permits and since then authorities have been trying to figure out what to do with it.

___

Associated Press writer Alan Clendenning in Madrid contributed to this report.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

  • Popular vernon News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile