Smoke cloud from British fuel depot blaze drifts over France

A huge &to=' target=_blank>smoke cloud from a British fuel depot fire has drifted over Brittany and Normandy in northwestern France and is headed toward Spain, France's national weather service said Monday.

Some smoke also passed over Belgium, officials said. The main cloud is expected to pass through western France and head out over the Atlantic Ocean, though some fumes will likely also reach Spain, said Francoise Benichou, chief deputy of forecasting at Meteo France.

Pollution in France is expected to be 100 to 1,000 times less concentrated than it was near the oil depot in Hemel Hempstead, north of London, she said. British firefighters were still battling the tank fires that broke out Sunday morning.

Fabien Debal, of Belgium's Royal Meteorological Institute, told RTL-TVI television that the smoke in his country was "very temporary, just a couple of hours, and the part that we got was very weak."

"The health risks linked to this cloud are certainly no greater than that from the pollution that we get every day, from road traffic, factories," he said.

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