A fire at a recycling centre in Smethwick has been described as the largest ever seen in the West Midlands, with the fire service expecting it to take days to deal with.

Firemen were called to the scene at 23:00 on Sunday (June 30th) and more than 200 calls were received by the region’s control centre, reports bbc.co.uk. Around 100,000 tonnes of plastic recycling material is believed to have gone up in smoke at the Jayplas depot on Dartmouth Road.

Steve Vincent, area commander for the fire service, said: “We will have major congestion in this area because we will be fighting this fire for the next few days. This is the largest fire we’ve had in the West Midlands. It is a major fire and we’ve got support from surrounding fire brigades to help us deal with this.”

Currently, the finger of blame is pointed towards Chinese lanterns that may have fallen on the plastic. The incident, which has led to zero fatalities but three injuries among firemen, has prompted road closures on Dartmouth Road, Brasshouse Lane and Halfords Lane. Motorists are also been asked to steer clear of junction one of the M5.

A thick plume of black smoke could be seen rising up from the site from 50 miles away, reports sky.com. It has been estimated that it reached 6,000 feet in the air.