Tyre fire hazard fi­nally burns


A mas­sive pile of tyres, pre­vi­ously flagged as an ac­ci­dent wait­ing to hap­pen, caught fire in ru­ral North Can­ter­bury on Mon­day night.

About 500 tyres ig­nited on a ru­ral prop­erty on Race­course Rd, just north of Am­ber­ley. Thick plumes of po­ten­tially toxic black smoke could be seen sev­eral kilo­me­tres away from the blaze.

The fire was on a prop­erty be­long­ing to War­ren Hes­lop which con­tains a large pile of hun­dreds of thou­sands of tyres, and made head­lines last year. How­ever, Mon­day’s fire started in a smaller heap of tyres away from the main pile.

The own­ers of the prop­erty, along with the owner of the com­pa­nies stor­ing the tyres, were is­sued with coun­cil abate­ment no­tices in 2016.

Fire and Emer­gency New Zealand (FENZ) spokesman An­drew Nor­ris said fire­fight­ers had al­lowed the fire to burn down, how­ever yes­ter­day morn­ing it was still burn­ing. The cause was not yet known, Nor­ris said.

The Hurunui District Coun­cil turned off the wa­ter scheme for users on the Race­course bore amid con­cerns of fire de­bris en­ter­ing reser­voirs and in­fil­trat­ing ground wa­ter. Checks were due to be car­ried out yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.

A rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Hes­lop, An­gelique Hyde, last year said the tyres were be­ing stored by busi­ness­man Michael Benny Le Roy, who leased the land from Hes­lop.

The landown­ers had been mis­led and had ‘‘shut out’’ Le Roy, can­celling his lease, Hyde said, and there would be ‘‘no more tyres com­ing in’’.

In March 2016, Le Roy re­ceived a High Court in­junc­tion stop­ping him from be­ing in­volved in tyre recycling un­til Jan­uary 2019.

The High Court rul­ing re­strained Le Roy and his com­pa­nies, Jami­son In­vest­ments and Tyre Recycling Ser­vices New Zealand, ‘‘from hav­ing any­thing to do with tyre recycling or tyre col­lec­tions . . . within the South Is­land of New Zealand’’.

In ad­di­tion, Hurunui District Coun­cil had is­sued Le Roy and the landown­ers an abate­ment no­tice in Au­gust 2016. En­vi­ron­ment Can­ter­bury was also in­ves­ti­gat­ing the mat­ter as an en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sue.

Last year, Hyde said Le Roy told the landown­ers his plan was to keep a small amount of tyres on site. A neigh­bour, who did not wish to be named, said the tyre col­lec­tion be­gan around the start of 2016.


Fire­fight­ers bat­tle a tyre fire on Race­course Rd, Am­ber­ley, on Mon­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.