FIREFIGHTERS are expected to remain at Johnstown landfill site all day following a large fire.

Fire crews were called to attend to a large fire at a landfill site near Wrexham last night (Wednesday, May 27) and remain in attendance this morning.

Crews from Johnstown, Wrexham, Llangollen, Ellesmere, Chirk and Llangollen, together with an incident command unit, were mobilised to Hafod Quarry landfill at 7.12pm yesterday evening.

Residents living in and around the area of Bangor Road, Johnstown, were advised to keep all windows and doors closed due to toxic fumes as firefighters tackled the fire last night.

This morning, as firefighters continue to deal with the incident, a change in wind direction means that smoke is affecting Wrexham town, and residents are advised to keep windows and doors shut.

One resident, who lives on Heol Offa, said through the night they could smell an 'acrid plastic smell' in the air.

Becca Lennard said the smell is 'awful' and they cannot open their windows or doors.

The cause of the incident will be subject to investigation in due course.

Jeff Hall, Incident Commander at the incident, said: “The nature of this fire is such that we expect to remain in attendance at the site for some time, probably for the next 24 hours. We are working on a multi-agency basis with our partners at National Resources Wales, Wrexham County Borough Council and North Wales Police to ensure the incident is brought under control and to protect local residents.”

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Photo provided by Elisha Kaye Parry

Mark Silvester, Chief Executive at waste management company Enovert, said: “A fire broke out at the Hafod Landfill Site on Wednesday, May 27 at some time just before 7pm.

“A section of the site’s operational area was found to be on fire and North Wales Fire and Rescue Service swiftly attended to tackle the blaze. Fire crews worked throughout the night to bring the fire under control, with local residents advised to keep windows and doors closed due to smoke.

“We have worked throughout the night to assist with bringing the fire under control and Enovert staff and North Wales Fire and Rescue Service remain on site this morning (Thursday 28 May) as the process of damping down the affected area continues. 

“Natural Resources Wales have been informed of the incident and the site will remain closed today as the affected area is dampened down.

“It has not yet been possible to identify the source of the fire, although it is likely to have been something imported in a waste delivery. Enovert will investigate this further once the immediate incident has been dealt with and the site has been made safe.

“We would like to reassure the local community that everything possible is being done to deal with the incident as safely and as quickly as possible, and to express our thanks to the crews from North Wales Fire and Rescue Service who have worked tirelessly to bring the blaze under control.”

The wind direction changed overnight and smoke is now affecting Wrexham town.

Wrexham Cllr Hugh Jones, Lead Member for Communities, Partnerships, Public Protection and Community Safety, said: "Our Public Protection Officers have been working closely with Natural Resources Wales who are the lead authority and will continue to do so as the incident progresses.

"It is important that residents stay in doors and keep all windows and doors closed.”

Road closures have been put in place by Wrexham Council.

Cllr David Kelly, Lead Member for Planning and Corporate Services, added: “The Council has worked closely with its partners throughout the night and ensured the necessary road closures were in place.

"Road closures continue in the area and everyone is advised to stay indoors and close all windows. We will remain on hand to assist as required as this incident progresses.”

The fire could be seen across Wrexham and as of Thursday morning the smoke could be smelt from as far as Abermorddu.

This has caused some concern amongst local residents who are having to keep windows and doors shut whilst the region is set to experience 23C heat.

The scale of the fire, which is happening at a landfill site, was about 1,000 square metres.

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Photo provided by Becca Lennard

David A Bithell Johnstown Councillor, said the fire was 'intense enough' to send a high plume of smoke visible across Wrexham.

He added: "It has been reduced and is contained, although fire service are still on site. Welsh Water has provided a large bowser to support the crews with a water supply and this has affected pressure and a brown colouring which should return to normal."

Ysgol ys Hafod opened this morning for critical workers but some roads remain closed.

He added: "The roads immediately abutting the site; Bangor Road and New Hall Road remain closed whilst the incident is managed. Ysgol yr hafod opened as normal this morning for critical workers and I liaised with the school’s head teacher late last night."

At 8.40pm, a spokesman confirmed the number of crews had been increased to seven.

On Thursday morning, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service urged local residents that 'the wind direction has now changed and smoke will now be affecting parts of Wrexham town. Please keep windows and doors closed'.

North Wales Police is also asking local residents to keep their windows and doors closed.

An environmental protection unit from Wrexham, a high volume pump from Llandudno and an incident command unit from Rhyl were all called to the scene on Wednesday evening.

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Fire crews near the scene of the large fire. Photos provided by Ryan Smith

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Image sent by Holly Roberts from 10.30pm