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Emergency services / Lerwick landfill site goes on fire – again

FIRE fighters from Lerwick, Scalloway, Brae, Bixter and Sandwick are tackling a large underground blaze at the Gremista waste management facility.

Fire fighters tackling the underground blaze at the Lerwick landfill site. Photo: Scottish Fire and Rescue Service

A total of seven appliances from across the isles were called to the fire at 5.21am after a passing fishing boat noticed smoke coming from the landfill site and alerted the port authority.

Hours after being tasked they all remain on site apart from the Sumburgh appliances which have been released from duties.

Local fire chief Matt Mason said: “We are tackling a deep-rooted fire that is deep-seated in the landfill site. We are working with two mechanical diggers to lift the debris out and then be able to get to the seat of the fire and try to extinguish it.

“That’s ongoing and we are likely to be her for several hours trying to fully extinguish the fire.”

A spokesperson for Shetland Islands Council said staff are assisting fire and rescue personnel, while water tankers are also on site to assist in the emergency response.

“There are no reports of injuries or any significant damage to property,” he said.

The household waste recycling centre has meanwhile re-opened to the public after it had initially been closed.

The Gremista road, for access to Dales Voe and local premises, including the vaccination centre at the Independent Living Centre, remains open.

In September 2015, it took fire crews more than 24 hours to extinguish an underground fire at the Gremista landfill site when strong winds were blamed for rubbish to ignite.

Smoke could be seen emanating from the landfill site on Wednesday morning.