Large plumes of smoke have spread over Melbourne’s west after a Tottenham recycling site caught fire on Thursday, the latest in a string of blazes to ignite waste across Melbourne.
About 30 firefighters fought to bring the large blaze under control after a large pile of recycled car parts caught fire at the site.
The Metropolitan Fire Brigade issued an advice message for 12 western suburbs after the fire broke out about midday on Thursday in a pile of recycled material measuring 10 metres by 30 metres.
The fire produced a great deal of smoke, which blew in an easterly direction towards residents.
Residents in Kingsville, Seddon, Tottenham, Yarraville, Altona North, Braybrook, Brooklyn, Footscray, South Kingsville, Spotswood and West Footscray were advised to close their windows and avoid the smoke where possible.
Residents from a number of neighbouring suburbs reported a pervasive smell following the blaze.
Fire crews were on site within seven minutes and managed to get on top of the fire within about 15 minutes.
The remained at the scene through the afternoon, using machinery to tear apart the pile and extinguish any remaining hot spots.
The Metropolitan Fire Brigade urged residents to avoid the area with Somerville Road closed to motorists.
Police and paramedics attended the scene although there were no reports of injuries. The cause of the fire is not yet known.
Last year, a massive fire broke out in a nearby warehouse illegally stocked with chemical waste.
The fire – one of the biggest infernos the city has seen in decades – resulted in high levels of contamination in the nearby Stony Creek and cause health problems for firefighters at the scene and neighbouring residents.
A blitz on industrial sites in the West Footscray area in the wake of last year’s fiery inferno has identified almost 70 dangerous goods breaches.
The WorkSafe and EPA blitz on 78 sites, sparked by community fears following the fire, identified 68 contraventions relating to the handling and storage of dangerous goods.
The fire provoked anger among residents about potential health effects and a commitment from the state government to review authorities’ response to the incident.
Businesses were slapped with notices for failures including a lack of fire protection reports, incompatible storage, poorly maintained dangerous goods manifests and inadequate placarding or labelling.
The EPA is also investigating illegal dumping of hundreds of tons of potentially toxic industrial waste at warehouses in Altona and Derrimut.
The dumping at the Altona warehouse was brought to the attention of the Hobsons Bay Council in February, following reports of swarms of flies at the Aylesbury Drive property.
The EPA was notified and an inspection on March 15 discovered about 100 tonnes of mingled waste, including bottles, cans plastic and paper, which had been stored without permits from council or the EPA.