Broadmeadows Tyre Fire Near Melbourne Begs The Question: What Are We Doing To Our Planet?

11/01/2016 11:09 AM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

An out-of-control tyre fire is burning in Broadmeadows near Melbourne with emergency services warning the thick plumes of "toxic smoke" are potentially harmful.

It's been less than three months since the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) brought in new tyre storage guidelines specifically to avoid fire, and this tyre stack was this morning estimated at being three times the recommended size.

In the new guidelines launched with the EPA, the Country Fire Authority recommended tyre stacks be a maximum of 20m long by 6m wide and 3m high however a brigade statement said this pile on fire measured 120 by 30 metres.

The Brigade said the fire broke out about 9am on Monday morning at what's believed to be a tyre recycling factory and more than 50 firefighters were on the scene at 11am as it continued to burn.

Nearby residents in Broadmeadows, Campbellfield, Coolaroo and Dallas were advised to stay inside and shut all windows and doors.

The Environment Protection Authority new legal requirements came into full effect on October 29 last year and were in response to estimates six million car tyres were stockpiled in Victoria alone in one year.

"Whole tyres are flammable and when stored together in large volumes, can create a fire hazard," the guidelines said.

"Once ignited, a tyre fire is difficult to extinguish and causes significant environmental, social and economic costs."

The guidelines include fines of up to $350,000, stating all business owners undertake a site fire risk assessment and also recommended a tracking system to determine the size of a tyre pile.

The EPA said undertook targeted and random inspections to ensure limits were being complied with.

A tyre fire in 1983 in Rhinehart, Virginia burned for nine months which another in 1998 in Tracy, California burned for 26 months.

More to come.

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