News of the Magħtab fire broke around 6.30am this morning. The plume of smoke now, three hours later, appears to be abating with reports it is now considerably less black than when it started.

Minister Michael Farrugia tweeted the fire should be under control this morning.

In the meantime, the central part of the island is engulfed in a black mushroom and the health authorities have warned asthmatics and people with health problems to stay indoors. ‘Avoid breathing this air’ is about the worst piece of news you could get on a morning.