The small town of Seseña, which is in the north of Toledo on the boundary with the region of Madrid, constitutes one of Spain’s biggest environmental headaches.
The tyre dump has been a source of controversy since it was first created in 2002, and, what is more, this dump was declared illegal in 2003 because the company that ran it failed to meet legal requirements.
The last thirteenth of may, a huge fire occurred in the largest tyre cemetery of Castilla-La Mancha, where the regional government has activated alert status level 1 on account of the huge pall of smoke rising from the dump and almost 9,000 people had to leave the town.
The cause of the blaze is not known, but the dump is located only 400 metres from a large residential development. It is estimated that the 5 million old tyres weigh as much as 90,000 tons, and the cloud of smoke emanating from the site is so thick that the authorities in Madrid and Castilla-La Mancha are advising both residents to keep their windows closed.
The level of emissions released in the fire could be as high as the equivalent of pollutants typically produced for the whole of Spain in one year, and to prevent illnesses, Seseña’s population had to wear protective masks outdoors.
This great fire will be very difficult to extinguish, since the water will not be sufficient. It can put out the flame, but not the internal temperature of the tyres and embers. Some experts said that the only effective way of attacking the huge fire is by small zones.
Marta Sandoval Rico 1ºA