About 1500 old tyres have caught alight in a 500-metre-deep gully of a mine on Tasmania’s west coast, with fire crews expecting them to burn for several days.
The Tasmania Fire Service was called to the Mount Lyell mine in Queenstown about 12.30am on Friday.
The cause of the fire has not been determined due to access difficulties.
“The fire is expected to burn for several days until it self-extinguishes,” the TFS said in a statement.
Copper Mines of Tasmania acting general manager Clint Mayes said the blaze had not affected mine infrastructure and would have no impact on operations.
He said crews worked through the night and did a fantastic job to stop the fire spreading.
The open cut mine, which ceased operation in the early 1970s, is about a kilometre from the working mine.
CMT estimates there are about 1000 large truck and loader tyres and about 500 light vehicle tyres stored in the area.
CMT has indicated it believes the fire to be suspicious.
An alert is in place advising people in the area to stay indoors, keep windows and doors closed and wear masks outside should the wind direction change and push smoke towards Queenstown.
The Environmental Protection Authority has been notified and is monitoring air quality.