TEWKSBURY -- A fire that broke out early Thursday morning in a compost pile off of South Street near the Tewksbury/Wilmington line may take days to fully extinguish, according to the Tewksbury Fire Department.

The compost pile, consisting primarily of leaves, began to burn around 1:10 a.m. Thursday, with smoke and odor lingering throughout the day as the fire continued to smolder.

BMC Corporation of Billerica owns the yard waste disposal business where the fire broke out, and that company is working to extinguish the fire by isolating and capping the pile, using clean fill and sand on-site. The process may take several days to complete, according to a statement from Tewksbury Fire Chief Michael Hazel.

The Tewksbury and Wilmington Fire Departments will not work on extinguishing the fire because of its remote location and limited water supply, Hazel said in a statement.

Both fire departments and the Boards of Health from each town will monitor the fire site for safety and air quality.

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