BLAENAU Gwent MP Nick Smith is calling for an end to a public health hazard after obtaining figures on waste management site fires.

Mr Smith had first-hand experience of the problem after a Nantyglo fire in January 2013 that burned for 10 days confined people to their homes and prompted a £70,000 clear-up operation.

Now the Blaenau Gwent MP is calling for Parliament to look at the issue after figures from Natural Resources Wales showed that of 61 waste management fires between 2012 and 2013, 58 took place on private sites.

Taking into account the number of private and public sites in Wales, it means there was approximately one fire for every 12 private sites as opposed to one in every 27 public sites.

He said: “The human cost of fires such as this to the community is massive. After the Nantyglo fire the air was filthy with smoke for weeks.

“One of the neighbours has asthma and emphysema, and she couldn’t go out of the house at all the whole time of the fire. This is why we need to find out if this is an issue of management or of better regulation or of staff training.

“But I don’t think if you are a neighbour of one of these sites you should suffer the consequences.”