‘Action’ was finally taken on a dumped mass of flytipping at Houghton Regis – which has already gained national media attention – when someone set fire to it this week.
The 200-tonne pile of rubbish is understood to include household refuse and faeces and is located on land off the A5-M1 road link, close to a traveller encampment.
In the early hours of Sunday, Beds Fire and Rescue Service was alerted to the fact the flytipping had been set on fire.
The mass had already been gathered into a pile by landowners, with a trench built around it.
Local campaigner Roger Giugno was one of the first at the scene and used his digger to assist firefighters clearing the debris.
Mr Giugno was praised for his help getting the fire uner control.
Afterwards he posted online: “What a night, four hours spent with the fantastic lads from the fire brigade putting out the fire.”
He later told the Gazette: “It’s a crying shame in truth as this was always going to be a potential disaster.
“How blinkered – digging a trench around the site before moving the debris is beyond me.”
Landowner of the site, the Houghton Regis Development Consortium, stated: “We believe that around 200 tonnes of waste have been illegally fly tipped. We appreciate the local community doesn’t want to see this happening and we are taking action to remove this from the site as soon as possible.”
A Beds Fire and Rescue spokesman said “We were called to a fire in a field in the location of Woodside Link at 1.10am on Sunday morning. Fire crews attended from Dunstable, Rural Water Tenders from Toddington and Ampthill and a Water Carrier from Toddington were also required to combat the fire.
“There was 100 tonnes of builders waste and general rubbish on fire at the location and with the assistance of a local farmer using a JCB digger the fire was extinguished just after 3.40am.
“Crews did return to the location throughout the day on Sunday and Monday to dampen down the area and ensure the fire didn’t reignite.”
Anyone wishing to contact HRN1 with further questions on the fly tipping can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Freephone 0800 232 1794.