A PROMINENT city councillor has spoken out about the continued impact of a fire in Carlisle.

Conservative city councillor for Belah and Kingmoor Gareth Ellis said that residents are still suffering nearly a month after the fire at Rockcliffe Industrial Estate took place.

Cllr Ellis, who is also deputy leader of Carlisle city council, said: "Residents have been assured that there’s no asbestos particles in the atmosphere, and the smoke is low risk.

"But what we have seen is a sustained smell and nuisance smoke for what is now over three weeks."

On November 8, police and fire were called to a fire at Rockcliffe Industrial Estate near Kingmoor Park in northern Carlisle.

Nearby residents were advised to close all doors and windows as a precaution due to the smoke, which may have involved fumes from burning asbestos.

They continue to be advised to do so.

Cumbria County Council, Cumbria Fire Service, Carlisle City Council and the Environment Agency continue to be involved in managing the fire and the resulting smoke.

Cllr Ellis said: "Over 300 tonnes of shredded plastic have been put under a control burn at the site.

"I have had reports from residents that the smell and smoke over the last few days have been worse than ever.

"People who have existing respiratory problems have noticed a deterioration in their own health and well-being as a result of the smoke.

"With people presenting with a burning sensation in their eyes and nose.

"The advice of keeping windows and doors shut only really helps for a short period of time, not for what looks like coming up to a month, and quite rightly people who are impacted don’t feel that is good enough.

“Residents deserve to know at what point it will be able to go out and breath the air easily again and stop feeling like prisoners in their own home.”

Colin Cox, Cumbria County Council’s Director of Public Health said that the risk to health from any air pollution is "very low."

He added that "due to the ongoing smoke in the area, air quality levels will be affected."

John Beard, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer thanked the public for their patience and understanding.

He added: "The multi-agency team are doing their upmost to safely extinguish the fire whilst minimising the impact on the local community.”