FIREFIGHTERS say they have made 'excellent progress' putting out the last of a major scrap fire that broke out three weeks ago.

County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service were called to the former Eldon Brickworks site in Bishop Auckland, where approximately 4,000 tonnes of waste was on fire on Monday August 31.

A spokesperson for the service said on Monday: "Our crews have been on site throughout the weekend, together with our partners from the Environment Agency and Durham County Council.

"Excellent progress has been made at the site of the fire. The waste which was outside of the buildings has now been extinguished. "Currently, with the assistance of the site owner the waste from inside the buildings is being brought out to be separated and extinguished.

"The fire, which at its height contained over 4,000 tons of compacted waste, has reduced significantly over the weekend and we hope conditions around the site have improved for local residents."

The fire prompted councillors to call for a full review of waste sites across County Durham, declaring that more needs to be done to ensure potential fires are avoided in the future.

Andrew Turner, area environment manager for the Environment Agency in the North-East, said officials had visited the site a number of times over months as part of an ongoing investigation into its operation, before the fire broke out.

In July the EA it issued two regulatory enforcement notices which required the company to remove waste from outside of the building and create fire breaks to the waste inside the building.