Parts of Belgrade were enveloped in smoke from the fire at the Vinca landfill southeast of the Serbian capital for a second day on Monday.
The smoke from the fire crossed the Danube, reaching at least three city suburbs. The landfill has been in place since the late 1970s, taking in thousands of tons of all kinds of waste, including construction waste, every day. The authorities have been announcing plans to upgrade waste disposal with energy production and incineration plants at the landfill site but the idea has not gone past the planning stage yet. The Vinca suburb is also an important archaeological site where experts have been excavating settlements of the Vincian culture for decades.
The fire iz blazing on five of the landfill’s 69 hectares with the authorities saying that there is no longer any danger of it spreading but warning the public to stay indoors with windows closed. Virtually all of Belgrade was covered in smoke on Sunday with environmental agencies warning of very high levels of air pollution. The Public Health Department said that there is no reason to panic but warned that pollution was worse than last winter in some parts of the city. Dragan Djordjevic of the Institute for Chemistry, Technology and Metallurgy said that the concentration of toxic materials in the air were eight time higher than allowed by law.
The fire is being tackled by 18 firefighters with six vehicles, the Serbian state TV (RTS) said, adding that the air should clear up by the end of the day.