FIREfighters believe it will take another week to extinguish an underground fire which has been burning at a landfill for almost two weeks.
Scores of firefighters from Dublin, Kildare, Laois and Wicklow were drafted in yesterday to try and tackle the "environmental emergency" at the Kerdiffstown landfill near Naas, Co Kildare.
Pungent smoke has been billowing from the site since it began burning, with all attempts so far to extinguish it failing.
Yesterday the fire service in Kildare began an action plan involving scores of workers to tackle the blaze, which is about 30 metres below the surface.
Heavy machinery moved into the site early yesterday morning to begin dismantling the pile of waste which is sitting on top of the smouldering fire.
The pile is being taken apart piece by piece, with the waste removed and dampened down, to ensure it does not begin burning in another site.
"It takes time to do this," a spokesman for the council said.
He said it was expected to take at least a week to completely extinguish the fire.
"The entire landfill site remains a very dangerous area, and is out-of-bounds for safety reasons.
"People should not enter it for any reason," he added.
Last week the Irish Independent revealed that one of the men behind the controversial dump before it went into liquidation was a director of the Friends of St Luke's Hospital.
Company documents show that Keith Cairns held a directorship with Neiphin Trading Ltd from October 2001 to December 2009.