OVER 400 firefighters from across South Wales fought a fire which burned for more than two months and spread acrid smoke around Gwent until mid-January, the Argus can reveal.

A blaze at the South Wales Wood Recycling depot at the Alexandra Docks started after 20,000 tonnes of wood chippings caught fire on November 16, 2015. It was not fully put out until January 21.

Argus readers said they could smell the stench as far away as Chepstow, 20 miles away from the site.

A Freedom of Information request submitted by the Argus and returned by the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service showed 413 firefighters from around the region had attended 109 times from November 16, 2015 until Christmas Eve, 2015.

Another 57 officers attended alone to monitor the fire themselves from November 16, 2015 until January 18, 2015.

The service has 47 stations and crews from 30 of them were called to deal with the blaze over the course of the incident.

National Resources Wales (NRW) led the protracted effort to put the fire out – but were insistent that the smoke was no risk to Gwent residents.

As the fire burned, it emerged South Wales Wood Recycling had been served with an enforcement notice by NRW to reduce the size of the wood chippings pile which eventually caught fire.

NRW’s industry and waste team leader, Ashley Lansdown, said yesterday (Thurs): “We continue to monitor the waste operation down at the Dockside.

“Our investigations into the incident are continuing, and once all the evidence has been collected and evaluated, we will then decide what action to take.”

Residents told this newspaper were worried about the possible impact on their health as the fire burned.

Newport man David Biggs, of Nash Road, said his sleep apnoea, for which he relies on a machine, was badly affected by the fire.

He said the fire left him a ‘yo-yo’ at night, being unable to filter his bedroom with clean air for the device because it was thick with waste from the fire.

The stations who attended during the fire were: Aberbargoed, Abercarn, Abercynon, Aberdare, Abersychan, Barry, Blaenavon, Brynmawr, Caerphilly, Caldicot, Cardiff Central, Cwmbran, Duffryn, Llantwit Major, Maindee, Malpas, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouth, New Inn, Penarth, Pencoed, Pontypridd, Risca, Roath, Tonypandy, Tredegar, Treharris, Usk and Whitchurch.