Sherburn-in-Elmet tyre fire smoke visible from space
- 16 January 2014
- From the section York & North Yorkshire
A fire involving 15,000 tonnes of tyres has sent up a plume of smoke so huge that it can be seen from space.
A Nasa satellite image shows a column of dark smoke towering into the sky and rising above the cloudy skies over Yorkshire and the north of England.
Dozens of firefighters from across Yorkshire have been at the Newgen Recycling plant in Sherburn-in-Elmet, near Leeds, since about 08:40 GMT.
The fire will "go on for days", North Yorkshire's fire chief said.
Nigel Hutchinson said the cause of the blaze at the Lennerton Lane facility was not yet known.
Residents and school pupils were told to stay indoors as a plume of fumes billowed over nearby villages.
Mr Hutchinson said: "It is a significant fire and one that is difficult to tackle. It's the sort of incident that will go on for days.
"We are anticipating a large part of the stack, if not the whole stack, being involved."
He said crews would remain on site overnight and were using ground monitors to create water curtains to protect nearby buildings.
A Public Health England spokesman said there had been no reports of any people experiencing ill effects from the fire.
North Yorkshire Police said the plume of smoke was high in the sky and the risk to the public was low.
"Sheltering indoors provides protection from exposure to smoke, so we advise residents in areas affected by smoke from the fire to stay indoors and keep their doors and windows closed as much as possible to limit any exposure to smoke," a spokesman said.
An eyewitness who works at the airfield in Sherburn-in-Elmet told BBC Radio York that he could see flames the height of the hangars at the airfield - at least 20-30ft (7-10m) high.
"It's absolutely colossal. It's like a tornado when you look at it close up, with the heat swirling and all the rest. It's absolutely amazing," he said.
Twelve schools and a children's centre have been advised to keep staff and pupils inside, according to North Yorkshire County Council.
A spokeswoman said schools would open as normal on Friday.
Environment Agency officers have been at the scene to help minimise the impact on the air and water.
Some flights at a nearby airfield have been grounded because of the smoke.
Chris Stringer, chief flight instructor at Sherburn Aero Club, said it had cut off the eastern approach to the airfield.