A505 between Royston and Duxford temporarily closed as fire continues to burn

The fire at Bridgefoot Quarry burnt for around a month.

The fire at Bridgefoot Quarry burnt for around a month. - Credit: Archant

The A505 between Royston and Duxford was closed for two hours in the early hours of this morning in the interest of road users’ safety as a large wood recyling plant fire near Melbourn continues to burn out.

Emergency services were first called to an overnight fire at Bridge Foot Quarry in Flint Cross on Thursday, November 13, which is expected to carry on burning ‘in a managed environment’ for the next seven to 10 days.

A large quantity of the material has now burnt, however, the fog and rain has slowed down the process.

The fog is holding the smoke down and, as a result, further temporary road closures may be put in place over the next week.

Fire control operators are still receiving a number of 999 calls and would like to remind the public that they are managing the incident and passers-by do not need to call the emergency services.

Members of the public have been advised to stay off the site for their own safety, after reports of people attempting to visit the quarry.

Cambs Fire and Rescue station commander Bruce Parcell said: “We understand this incident has caused a lot of upset and anxiety among residents and we realise some people who live very close to the site may have concerns.

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“We have been working tirelessly to put measures in place to ensure monitoring is undertaken in the best interests of those living and working in the immediate vicinity.

“We understand with large fires you would usually see lots of fire engines but in this case, we’re allowing this fire to burn in a controlled way as this is the safest option to protect the drinking water that lies beneath the site.

“We want to reassure residents that fire officers are regularly inspecting the site to make sure it continues to burn in a controlled way.”

Following a joint investigation between the police and fire service, it was determined that the most likely cause of the blaze was deliberate.

A man in his 70s from the Royston area has been arrested on suspicion of arson in connection with the fire and has been bailed until January 7.

The fire – which involved a large quantity of wood chippings – closed the A505 between the junction with the A10 and Junction 10 of the M11, until 3.20pm on Friday, November 14.

People living in the area who are affected by the smoke are advised to take measures to minimise their exposure, especially if they suffer with underlying lung problems or asthma.