Toxic cloud from tire inferno sees 9,000 residents evacuate Spanish town (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Around 9,000 residents near to a so-called ‘tire graveyard’ in the Spanish town of Sesena, near Madrid, have been ordered to evacuate after a million tires were set ablaze sending a thick, black cloud of toxic fumes overhead.

The rather spectacular, potentially dangerous cloud has been emanating from the fire since the early hours of Friday morning with 10 teams of firefighters trying to get the blaze under control.

The biggest such facility in Europe, there are around 5 million tires located on site, weighing about 110,230 tons (10 million kg), with around one fifth thought to be affected.

An emergency plan has been initiated by the government of the Castilla-La Mancha region and, although no injuries have been reported at this stage, residents living in a nearby apartment complex have been ordered to evacuate while ambulances were sent to help remove those with health problems.

A nearby school was evacuated earlier on Friday and with two major motorways located nearby, motorists have been urged to stay clear.

The cause of the fire is not yet known, but Sesena Mayor Carlos Velazquez believes it was started intentionally, reported AP.

With a huge housing estate located within 400 meters of the 10 hectare (25 acre) site, officials are concerned about the potential risks to health, reported The Local.

Rain forecast for Friday afternoon in the area could see pollutants deposited onto the ground below.

Plumes of smoke can also be seen in Madrid, which is less than 50km to the north and, depending on whether the fire can be brought under control, there could be a knock-on effect for flights into and out of Madrid international airport. 

The site was first used in the 1990s by a company who planned to use it as a temporary depot for old tires intended to be recycled but instead the number of tires continued to grow over the years.

Hopefully, they will put the fire out more quickly than Springfield’s tire fire, which has been burning since it was “established” in 1989.