UPDATE: Sheffield recycyling plant waste 'self-combusted' due to hot weather

A fire which sent smoke billowing across the M1 was caused by waste which 'self-combusted' in the heat, the Environment Agency has revealed.

Photo: Adam Bayliss / Environment Agency
Photo: Adam Bayliss / Environment Agency

The blaze took place this evening between junctions 34 (Meadowhall) and 35 (Thorpe Hesley) when a fire took hold which caused a plume of smoke to drift across the carriageway.

Environment Agency employee Adam Bayliss - who was on his way home at the time of the incident - stopped to take these photos of the blaze being extinguished.

Photo: Adam Bayliss / Environment Agency

He said the most likely cause was self combustion due to hot weather but added that good fire plans, waste segregation, drainage and cooperation meant it was quickly brought under control.

He said: "The site had an impressive new sealed drainage system and fire breaks throughout the waste. Certainly a well managed site from what I saw tonight which meant the fire brigade could tackle it very quickly."