Posted: Tue 14th Jan 2020

Firefighters remain at scene of Kronospan fire – Company says it will “conduct a full enquiry” into the incident for people living in or visiting the wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Jan 14th, 2020

Firefighters remain at the scene of a blaze that broke out at the Kronospan factory during the early hours of Monday morning.

A quantity of logs and woodchip material situated on an area of the log yard  caught fire at approximately 02.00 hours on Monday 13th January 2020.

Crews from Wrexham and Llangollen remain at the scene, with residents in the area urged to keep their windows and doors closed due to the forecasted change in wind direction.

A spokesperson for North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Crews are working with staff on site and have created breaks in the fire.

“We expect to remain on site for some time as crews work to extinguish the fire.”

The fire has prompted calls from members of the community and politicians for action and for more information about the incident to be put in the public domain.

Earlier today Clwyd South MP Simon Baynes held a meeting with members of Chirk town council about the ongoing incident.

Community councillor for the Chirk ward, Gareth Baines, said: “Just a week after I warned the Council’s Planning Committee there was a serious risk to people’s health from the factory, a fire has been raging at Kronospan for well over thirty hours.

“Kronospan have provided residents little to nothing by the way of update leading to confusion and worry – this isn’t the way for a respectful company to operate.

“The community of Chirk deals with a major fire at the factory, on average, at least once a year. Kronospan have much to do to improve relations, I would encourage them to agree to independent monitoring of both noise and pollution – it is the only way forward.”

In a statement Clwyd South AM, Ken Skates, said he has been in contact with Kronospan to convey his “serious concerns and those of my constituents with regard to the ongoing incident.”

Mr Skates added: “Natural Resources Wales is currently working with North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Wrexham County Borough Council, Public Health Wales and the company in relation to the fire.

“While Wrexham Council is currently responsible for monitoring emissions from the factory, Natural Resources Wales is due to take over as the sole regulator of the site later this year – as many local people have called for – following intervention from the Welsh Government.

“In response to the concerns I raised, the company have said: “The fire involves raw timber on the log yard. It does not involve MDF board as was suggested on social media, and is not therefore potentially carcinogenic material.”

“Kronospan have today assured me that they will conduct a full enquiry.

“In the meantime, I will continue to speak to the company and Wrexham Council on a regular basis to try to ensure that local concerns are heard.”

Wrexham Council have also issued advice to the local community from Public Health Wales.

A council spokesperson said: “If you are in a place affected by smoke, stay indoors and keep doors and windows closed when affected by the smoke, but open them again to air your home when the smoke passes.

“If you need to be outdoors, avoid areas affected by smoke or ash, or limit the time you spend in them.

“Motorists who have travel through the smoke should keep windows closed, turn off air conditioning and keep their air vents closed.

“Smoke can irritate airways, the skin and the eyes leading to coughing and wheezing, breathlessness and chest pain. This can also mean that problems such as asthma get worse; people with asthma should carry their inhaler with them at all times.

“Odours associated with fires can cause annoyance, stress and anxiety, nausea, headaches or dizziness. These are common reactions to odours, rather than to the substances that cause the smell.

“We are able to detect odours at levels that are much lower than can cause harm to health.

“Anyone concerned about their symptoms should contact their GP or NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. The symptoms usually disappear quickly and should not lead to long term health problems.”

We have contacted Natural Resources and Kronospan for comment.

Picture: Clean Air for Chirk


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