A MAJOR Incident has been declared by Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service following a fire at a landfill site in Bury.

A large plume of smoke could be seen in the area surrounding the site in Pilsworth Road after a section of household waste started burning at roughly 00.15am this morning

The significant amount of smoke, along with the location of the incident which is adjacent to Junction 3 of the M66, prompted GMFRS to declare the Major Incident at 5.40am.

Crews from 10 fire stations are currently engaged in tackling the blaze affecting a steep heap of shredded waste.

Bury Times:

Firefighters battle a fire at a landfill site in Bury

Firefighters from Manchester Central, Blackley, Hollins, Chadderton, Bury, Whitefield, Ramsbottom, Heywood, Broughton and Agecroft are using heavy machinery, hoses and breathing apparatus to direct water onto the burning material – the heavy machinery is in turn being deployed to break up the heap and aid firefighting.

Paul Duggan, Area Manager and Head of Prevention and GMFRS, said: “Firefighters have been tackling this blaze at a landfill near Bury for around seven hours and are making steady progress.

Conditions are not easy – the surface, around the size of a football pitch, is uneven under foot and there is a significant amount of smoke at the site. I want to take this opportunity to praise GMFRS’ crews for their hard work and dedication.

Bury Times:

“The smoke plume can be seen for miles around and the easterly wind means it is drifting across the motorway and in the direction of Ainsworth. I’d ask anybody driving on the motorway to take care around Junction 3 of the M66, and residents in south Bury, to keep their homes’ windows and doors closed.

“I want to reassure the public that the materials on fire and the smoke do not pose any significant risk to people’s health. We have called this Major Incident simply to co-ordinate emergency services’ response and best share our resources. GMFRS will be on site working hard until this fire is out.”

GMFRS will remain at the scene of this fire throughout the day.

Bury Times: Landfill fire in Bury

Image from the landfill fire in the early hours of Monday morning

Chief Fire Officer Dave Russell, tweeted: "Just left the incident. Really proud of my firefighters and officers - incredibly challenging and complex incident on a huge scale and on the back of a very busy weekend for GMFRS. It's a protracted incident, will take days to resolve however we are making good progress."