Wiltshire fire crews from five bases fought a blaze overnight at the recycling centre at Stert, on the outskirts of Devizes, where up to 300 tonnes of waste was on fire.

A spokesman for Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "We were called to Grist Environmental Ltd Recycling Centre, Monument Hill, Stert at 11:10pm yesterday, following reports of a waste fire at the site. Three fire crews were mobilised to the scene, two from Devizes and one from Calne along with the Command Support Unit from Swindon and two water carriers from Pewsey and Royal Wootton Bassett.

"On arrival, the first crews in attendance found some 200-300 tonnes of residual waste well alight and used two main jets to prevent escalation of the fire. On site staff assisted using loading shovel machinery to create fire breaks in the pile of waste, working with firefighters to help contain the blaze.

"As of 6am today the incident has been scaled back to one fire engine and one water carrier and we will remain on scene for a number of days to provide a watching brief."

Group Manager Richard Coleman said "We are advising local residents to keep doors and windows closed due to the smoke in the area. As this fire will be ongoing for a number of days we will update the public with any concerns regarding the smoke should they arise.”

The fire is under investigation and is believed to have started accidentally, although the fire service says the exact cause may never be established.