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Renewed calls for public to stay away from moorland fires
Monday 9th July 2018 @ 11:42 by Tom Greggan
News Tameside

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service is once again urging the public to stay away from the moorland fires, more than two weeks since they first broke out.

Crews are continuing to deal with three challenging fires across the moors after another one broke out in Denshaw over the weekend. There are currently twenty fire fighters from GMFRS, supported by two crews from West Yorkshire, working to contain that fire.

In addition, 50 fire fighters working across four areas of Tameside’s moorlands, while four fire engines GMFRS remain at the scene on Winter Hill, supporting Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service.

GMFRS’ Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Tony Hunter, said: “The three significant moorland incidents in Greater Manchester are unprecedented and they have drawn upon a large amount of our resources over the last couple of weeks, supported by a number of other agencies. I am proud of our crews and control room operators who, very tired after an already long shift, responded and quickly brought the Denshaw fire under control.

There are currently 50 firefighters on the Tameside moorlands working across four areas and four fire engines remain at the scene in Winter Hill, supporting Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service.

“Our fire fighting activities have resulted in a large amount of hose, machinery and vehicles in the area, including helicopter activity, each of which bring their own hazards.

“However, members of the public are continuing to come up to the areas and we are now urging local people and walkers to please stay off the moorland in Tameside, Saddleworth and Bolton as we deal with these incidents.

“By walking on the moorlands close to where these incidents are, you are not only putting yourselves in danger but risk disrupting the work of our firefighters who are working tirelessly to put the fires out and keep local people safe. We want people to enjoy the sunshine but please find an alternative walking route, and steer clear from all three fires.

“The support we have had from local communities has been overwhelming and we cannot thank you enough for your support, but please help us deal with these challenging incidents by staying away.”

The severe wildfire conditions are likely to continue for much of England and Wales through the week due to the ongoing warm and dry conditions.

ACFO Hunter added: “As well as staying away from the moors, I would also ask the people of Greater Manchester to take extra care to keep themselves, their families and their property safe – particularly with the hot weather that is expected to continue over the next few weeks.

“We know there will be lots of people having barbecues and enjoying a drink while they watch the football but please stay safe by ensuring barbecues are used safely and are fully extinguished before you go to bed, and please take care when cooking – don’t leave pans unattended and don’t drink and cook.

“Please only call us in an emergency as our control room operators are extremely busy.”