THE major scrap tyre fire which has caused disruption all week in Bradford is now out, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service confirmed this afternoon. 

Crews remain at the scene, on Upper Castle Street, near Bradford city centre, damping down and will do "for a few days to come". 

The blaze broke out at the site of a former go-kart track in the early hours of last Monday (November 16).

At the height of the fire, 100 firefighters, 15 fire engines and two aerial appliances were needed to tackle the huge flames emanating from the mass of tyres.

It has caused huge disruption all week, with schools, roads and businesses forced to close, scores of trains cancelled and concerns over air quality as a huge pall of smoke hung over the city. 

After seven days of tireless work, there are still around 15 firefighters and officers on the scene, with three fire engines in attendance damping down. They are likely to remain there for the next few days while this continues. 

The response has seen hundreds of firefighters brought in, specialist foam and millions of litres of water used to put the burning tyres out. 

West Yorkshire Police, Bradford Council, Yorkshire Water, the Environment Agency and Public Health England have also been part of the response to the fire. 

Benjy Bush, Bradford District Commander for WYFRS, said the fire has had a "huge impact".

He said: "I've never seen a waste fire of this scale in the Bradford district, I've been to many mill fires over the years that have attracted 15-20 fire engines to attend, but a waste fire of this scale is something that I've not seen in my nearly 20 years of being a firefighter.

"This has been a really challenging job for firefighters. I've been up to see them several times and the firefighters have just been black from head toe. It really is a challenging fire to deal with.

"It has taken a lot of resources, but it's something that we do plan for. You've got to remember that although we dealt with a big incident in Bradford this week, our, what we call 'business as usual', our day job doesn't stop.

"We've still had house fires, we've still had road traffic collisions that we need to deal with. It is a challenge, but we do plan for these eventualities."

Speaking about the nature of the fire, he said: "Tyre fires are often complex due to the types of materials that are involved - they contain high levels of fuel and burn at high temperatures. 

"Once ignited, large quantities of tyres are difficult to extinguish as they start to melt and form a crust over the top, while still burning underneath. As well as this, as many residents will now unfortunately know, tyre fires produce large amounts of thick black smoke which can contain toxic gases. This smoke can be harmful to public health and also the environment."

Damping down will continue over the next few days and Bradford Council has provided heavy plant machinery to drag the tyres out, turn them over, so firefighters can get to the bottom of the stack to make sure it's fully extinguished.

Meetings will take place in the coming days with the owners of the land, the Council and the Environment Agency to formulate a plan to make sure the site can be cleared.

"It will take some clearing, there's an enormous amount of tyres on site, so it's going to be a mammoth effort just to clear the site," said the District Commander. 

"This has been a difficult time for everybody anyway, it has been a difficult time for businesses so this is something else the businesses in Bradford have had to endure, so a thank you from us that people have been patient with us, they've adhered to the guidance, they have let us do our job.

"We've received some tremendous support from the community who have been bringing food and drink down to the site for firefighters, so it has been a great response and also thank you to our partner agencies who have helped us throughout this incident. It's been very much a team effort."

Bradford Council Leader, councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, added: “We are relieved the fire has finally been extinguished. It’s caused untold misery to residents and businesses in the area.

"I want to particularly thank the emergency services – firefighters, police and council emergency staff for the extraordinary work they have done in fighting the blaze and dealing with its consequences."

“Bradford Council Emergency Management staff continue to work at the scene with our partner services. Wardens and neighbourhood teams continue to work on the ground assisting the public and businesses.

“Staff from adult social care will continue to work with the vulnerable adults’ teams in health and wellbeing to support clinically vulnerable adults and people receiving home care.

“Teams in education and public health continue to work with local schools to provide advice and support.”

Chief Inspector Steve Greenbank, of Bradford District Police, added: “We would like to thank all the public’s support with the road closures, which has caused a lot of disruption to local businesses. It has been a challenging incident and one that has needed a team effort from all of the services within Bradford district.”

The smoke has significantly reduced since the fire was extinguished, but Public Health advice is that if you are still affected by the smoke and it is still in your area, keep doors and windows shut and minimise exposure if you must go out. If the smoke isn’t affecting where you live, you can take the opportunity to ventilate your property.

Some roads in the area remain closed - Parma Street junction with Upper Castle Street and Mill Lane, on the junctions of Nelson Street and Fitzwilliam Street.

Train services resumed on Saturday.