Multi Agency Update on the Waterston Industrial Estate Fire, Milford Haven

On Sunday 14 August 2022 at around 2pm, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service received a call reporting a large fire in a commercial premises in Waterston industrial estates, Milford Haven.

The incident involved three large commercial sheds, used for storing household waste, which were well developed upon our arrival.

Post an initial mobilisation of three major appliances, it quickly become apparent that additional resources would be required, and a major incident was subsequently declared.

At its peak, 14 fire appliances, a High-Volume Pump and Incident Command Unit were on the scene, with around 100 Firefighters working tirelessly throughout the afternoon, evening and into the night to bring the incident under control.

As well as Fire Service personnel, the incident has required a significant multi agency response, with Dyfed Powys Police, Natural Resources Wales, Hywel Dda University Health Board, Public Health Wales, Pembrokeshire County Council and other key partners from Dyfed Powys Local Resilience Forum collaborating to deal with the challenges this incident brought about.

With the dynamic phase of the incident concluding on Monday 15 August, a small number of Firefighters remain on scene, working proactively to move and dampen down large quantities of rubbish to avoid reignition.

Public Health Wales has confirmed that the risk to the public remains low but as a precaution:

  • If you are in an area affected by smoke, you are advised to stay indoors, close windows and doors, and turn off any air conditioning or ventilation units.
  • Motorists who must travel through areas affected by smoke should keep windows closed, turn off air conditioning and keep air vents closed.

As a result of the efforts of all those involved, the recovery phase of the incident has now commenced.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Craig Flannery, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “With an incredibly busy weekend for the Service, where large scale wildfires in Newgale and St Davids put additional pressure on our resources, it has required dedication, commitment and outstanding resource planning to bring this incident under control.

“It goes without saying that on behalf of the Authority and the Service, I must acknowledge the effort our Firefighters have made in unprecedented and challenging circumstances.”

Pembrokeshire County Council Chief Executive Will Bramble and Deputy Leader Cllr Paul Miller visit the Waterston site on Tuesday morning.

They said: “This was a large and difficult fire to tackle but thanks to the tireless response of Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service Firefighters, the situation on the ground in Waterston is improving.

“Residents living around Waterston should continue to follow public health advice if they experience smoke from the site over coming days.

“At the time this fire broke out, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service were already dealing with a series of other fires across Pembrokeshire, and we underline our thanks to the Firefighters for their efforts to bring these situations under control.

“We would also like to express our gratitude to the communities of St Davids, Newgale and Waterston for their support for the first responders and ongoing patience, particularly in the Waterston community.

“The Council will be working with other partner agencies to help bring the situation back to normal as soon as possible.

“We would like to once again appeal to members of the public to be extremely cautious while out and about in Pembrokeshire as, despite some rain, conditions remain extremely dry. Please do not do anything that risks starting a fire that could rapidly get out of control.”

Martyn Evans, Head of South West Wales Operations for Natural Resources Wales said:

“Our officers have been on site at the Waterston industrial estate in Milford Haven, to support Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service and work with our partners to help reduce the risk to the environment and local community.

“Fires can have a serious impact and it’s imperative we work with our multi- agency partners to help safeguard residents and the environment.

“We will continue to monitor the impact on air quality and local watercourses over the coming days and ensure the necessary measures are in place to minimise any impact.”