Fire service advice to public as 160 firefighters battle moors blazes
Friday 29th June 2018 @ 18:39 by Nigel Skinner
Mossley & Saddleworth News Stalybridge Tameside

Around 160 firefighters are still battling the blaze on the moorlands in Tameside – five days after it began – with advice to the public to please stay away from the area this weekend.

And with the added pressure on the fire service fighting the fires, GMFRS is asking people to take extra care themselves – and to only call the service in case of emergencies.

Today crews from across Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service have been joined by firefighters and specialist officers from Northumberland, West Yorkshire, South Wales, Cheshire and Gloucestershire, with Merseyside on standby.

Crews are continuing to be supported by around 100 military personnel and this afternoon a request for an extension for military personnel was granted providing continued support over the weekend and into next week.

There are still five separate incidents on the Tameside moors and a total of 25 GMFRS appliances across those areas with support from other services, agencies and various specialist units.

Air quality monitoring today has shown an improving picture, however, levels are still elevated in some locations and levels are expected to fluctuate over the next few days.

Therefore, the advice for people remains to stay indoors, keep doors and windows closed while smoke is visible and try to keep homes cool.

Donations

The community are continuing to rally round and donate food and water supplies for crews fighting the fires.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service’s Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Leon Parkes, said: “We’re really grateful to members of the public, the local community and businesses who have been providing refreshments all week. We have been collecting these at Stalybridge Community Fire Station, from where they’re being distributed to crews in various locations by our volunteers.

“Just a reminder that if you do wish to donate supplies, please don’t drive up to the incident, as it causes access issues for our crews and we would really appreciate non-perishable foods such as re-hydration drinks, protein bars or gels.

“It continues to be an extremely challenging time for GMFRS and conditions for our crews up on the moors are very difficult – we are doing everything we can to put this fire out but we will be here for some time to come.”

In addition, GMFRS has also been dealing with a number of other incidents including a large wildfire on Scout Road in Bolton.

Crews were initially called to multiple fires on the hills near to Horrocks Moor Farm at 2am this morning. Six fire engines tackled the flames throughout the night and this morning just two crews remained on the scene dampening down hot spots.

However, due to the intense heat and dry weather, the fire flared up again early this afternoon and a total of ten pumps plus a number of officers were sent to fight the fire using specialist wildfire equipment.

The fire currently measures approximately 2km in length.

Advice

ACFO Parkes added: “In both cases, people are advised to stay away from the area and nearby residents are asked to keep their windows and doors closed where possible.

“These incidents have put GMFRS under intense pressure and we have had to get support in from Cumbria, Derbyshire and West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Services to backfill our crews at various stations across Greater Manchester to be available for other incidents as needed.

“GMFRS and North West Fire Control are extremely busy – these are unprecedented circumstances and we would urge the public to only call us in an emergency and to help to prevent any further incidents by taking extra care.”

To keep up to date with all the information about the incident please follow @manchesterfire