Moorland Fire Update
03 July 2018

Hundreds of firefighters tackle unprecedented moorland fires

Update – 10am July 2, 2018

MORE than 100 Greater Manchester firefighters are still tackling unprecedented moorland fire in Tameside and Bolton this morning.

As of Monday morning (July 2, 2018) there are 12 fire crews plus specialist appliances at moorland fires in Tameside and 10 at Winter Hill supporting Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service who had a further 14 fire engines on the scene, along with two from Tyne and Wear.

Both services have been supported by fire and rescue colleagues from other services and British Army troops remain on the moors in Tameside, with support currently available until tomorrow. Fire crews from across the UK will be travelling up to Greater Manchester throughout the day to provide further support. 

Assistant County Fire Officer, Dave Keelan, told the media on Monday morning: “Crews are working in extremely difficult and challenging circumstances. It’s not just the weather that’s difficult but also the geography of the site – getting the equipment, the firefighters and the water up to where the firefighters are is really challenging. But I can’t praise crews enough – they’ve done a fantastic job and are working so hard.

“The temperature is one of the most challenging aspect for firefighters at the moment – working in fire kit with the sun beating down is really difficult and we are rotating them as much as we can

“It’s really challenging to have resources across two major incidents in Greater Manchester whilst trying to maintain business as usual but we have been extremely fortunate and I thank colleagues from up and down the country who have sent fire engines and officers to support us and also the military who have done a fantastic job supporting us.

“We don’t know the cause of the Tameside incident yet. We have a team of fire investigators doing some work on that but I would just like to urge the public to be really careful with discarded cigarettes and glass bottles – none of us want to destroy the wildlife and the natural beauty that we have got around us in Greater Manchester so if the public can take extra care when they are out and about in areas like this it would be much appreciated.”

Tameside Council have announced that four schools are closed today – Buckton Vale, Millbrook, St Raphael's and Mossley Hollins.

Advice from Public Heath England remains the same – residents in areas affected by smoke should stay indoors, keep their doors and windows closed, and tune in to the local radio station for advice and information. Motorists who have to travel through the smoke should keep windows closed and keep their air vents closed.  If people need to be outdoors, they are advised to avoid areas affected by any smoke or ash, or to limit the time that they spend in them. 

Smoke can irritate air passages, the skin and the eyes leading to coughing and wheezing, breathlessness and chest pain. It can also worsen existing problems such as asthma and people with asthma should carry their inhaler with them at all times. Anyone concerned about their symptoms should contact their GP or the NHS 111 service.