TWENTY-SIX firefighters battled to control a blaze threatening 1,000 tonnes of woodchips at Britain’s largest recycled newsprint mill.
Fire broke out in the grounds of the UPM Shotton factory on Deeside Industrial Park shortly after 9am yesterday.
Firefighters on raised platforms could be seen pumping water over the huge woodchip pile as colleagues tackled the fire at its base.
Crews from Deeside, Flint, Wrexham and Chester, the aerial ladder platform from Wrexham and the incident command unit from Rhyl all attended, with firefighters still on site hours later damping down the wood chips. No injuries were reported.
UPM Shotton is the UK's biggest recycler of newspapers and magazines. It recycles about 640,000 tonnes of recovered paper per year at its Flintshire base.
Andrew Bronnert, head of Pulp and Energy at UPM Shotton, said: “A small fire broke out in a pile of wood chips stored on site for UPM Shotton’s renewable energy power plant at 9am.
“Our first response fire service, together with the UPM fire appliance, immediately started to control the fire. As per UPM’s fire procedures, appliances from the local fire service were called.”
Despite the fire, UPM confirmed there had been no impact to deliveries to the Weighbridge Road site or to UPM operations.
Speaking yesterday, Mr Bronnert confirmed the fire was under control but said UPM was “working closely with the fire service” to ensure the fire was permanently out.
A spokesman from North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said 7,000 tonnes of woodchips were in storage at the site when the fire broke out, but only 1,000 tonnes were involved.
He said: “Crews used main jets and hose reels to tackle the fire and utilised a mechanical digger to move the piles of woodchip. There are no reports of any injuries at this time.”
The cause of the blaze was unknown yesterday.