Posted on 09:36:00 on 14th February 2016
Police and partners are warning members of the public in Workington and Stainburn to keep their windows and doors closed this morning following a fire.
Police were called by the Fire Service at 5.26am to the barn fire on Stainburn Road. The building is believed to have contained asbestos.
A multi-agency teleconference meeting, chaired by the police, was held this morning to assess the situation and threat to public health and safety.
The Met Office advised that the wind direction would take the smoke plume south west, over Stainburn and towards the coast over the next 5-6 hours.
Public Health England North West advise that the risks to health are low and there is unlikely to be any significant exposure to asbestos following fires involving materials containing asbestos.
There is no direct evidence of long-term health risks from fires involving asbestos containing materials.
Members of the public are advised to close windows and doors as a precautionary measure, and not to disturb any ash or deposits that may settle on the ground. If it is absolutely necessary to move or remove debris yourself (e.g. from a car windscreen) first damp down the debris using water, and either gently flush away small particles to the drain.
It is thought that the current weather and forecast will lead to further dispersal, further reducing the effect of the plume.
Anyone with concerns is encouraged to dial NHS number 111, before attending Accident and Emergency departments with concerns. Any direct contact with ash from the plume can be treated with soap and water.
The old A66 to Stainburn has been closed while the Fire Service are on the scene.
At this time the cause of the fire is unknown.
A further update will be issued following the next teleconference at 2pm.