Local residents are being warned to stay indoors and keep windows closed on Saturday as smoke billows from the blaze at Ringwood’s CMA recycling centre, affecting neighbouring suburbs and the nearby EastLink motorway.
The large fire, stretching about 40 metres and fuelled by car bodies and scrap metal, was brought under control at 11.30am (AEDT), Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board (MFB) spokesman Trevor Woodward said.
Ten trucks and 50 firefighters were continuing to battle it.
‘We will probably be there for a couple of days before it is 100 per cent extinguished,’ Mr Woodward told AAP.
‘The last time we had a fire of this magnitude at this place, it took a few days to put out.
‘It is an indication that this is just going to go on and on and on.’
Mr Woodward said staff at the centre were using heavy machinery to try to disperse the pile of rubbish and firefighters would work through the night to reduce the amount of smoke.
The smoke was not believed to be toxic, but air quality was being continuously monitored, he said.
Emergency services were called to the blaze by concerned motorists who saw the smoke while travelling along the EastLink motorway before 7am on Saturday.
Mr Woodward said the fire was deep inside a pile of crushed cars the height of a three-storey building.
‘The fire is being fed by the large quantities of oil and grease coating the metal,’ he said.
A car accident on the EastLink on Saturday morning was unrelated to the blaze.
A Victoria Police spokeswoman said the fire was not considered suspicious.
Residents in Mitcham, Nunawading, Ringwood East, Ringwood North, Vermont, Vermont South, Wantirna, Ringwood and Heathmont are being warned to stay inside, close doors and windows, and switch off their heating and cooling systems.
Source: Sky News Australia