A fire burning within a waste cell at the Kealba Landfill site is believed to be the source of a “toxic, smokey chemical” smell.

Residents have been complaining of the smell for several weeks, causing some to feel ill and others throat irritation.

On Tuesday night, Barro Group, the operator of the landfill contacted the EPA to report a suspected fire within one of the waste cells.

The cell has been covered with a thick layer of clay to contain the smoke and odour, however the cell may need to be uncovered to extinguish the fire.

It has not yet been determined if emergency services will be required and the EPA is currently assessing the extent of the fire and the response required.

It’s believed the Brimbank Council  has also been notified of the issue and is requesting safety precautions including air quality monitors and strategies to prevent pollution spilling into neighbouring waterways.

The EPA is yet to issue an alert.

The site is no stranger to controversy and was the subject of a drawn out legal before it even opened.

In August 2010  Barro Group riled locals when it first flagged the proposal to turn the old quarry site into a landfill.

The proposal received more than 650 objections and was knocked back by the Brimbank Council and VCAT.

However the Supreme Court ordered the matter be heard again and VCAT subsequently gave Barro the go-ahead to turn the site into a landfill.