Warm weather reignites wildfires across Saddleworth Moor


Firefighters are tackling a large blaze across Saddleworth Moor as warmer temperatures bring the risk of more wildfires.

Fire crews were called to the moor, which is in the Pennines, north-west England, on Sunday night.

The fire was extinguished with the help of a nearby gamekeeper but was reignited by the heat on Monday morning.

At one stage it covered almost a square mile of moorland.

A Manchester Fire and Rescue spokesman said crews had “worked tirelessly” to control the blaze and were expected to remain in the area between Stalybridge and Dovestones on Tuesday.

A portion of the area near Buckton Hill has been “devastated”, they added, and the surrounding region affected by “a significant amount of low lying smoke” from the blaze.

Firefighters warned residents to keep their doors and windows closed.

Incident commander Lee Bourne said: “Crews are making good progress this morning and are managing to get a hold on the fire.

“There is a concern about the amount of low lying smoke which is affecting local areas, namely Carbrook, Greenfield and parts of Saddleworth, along with Stalybridge.

“Due to the weather conditions and there being a lack of wind, the smoke has settled so it is important for residents to keep doors and windows closed where there is any visible smoke.”

Temperatures reached 30C (86F) across parts of the UK on Monday, and are expected to hover around the same point for many areas this week.

A fire on Saddleworth Moor. Pic: @youngbillh
Image: A fire on Saddleworth Moor. Pic: William Hall/@youngbillh

The West Midlands and north-west England could see temperatures hit 31C later, according to Sky News weather presenter Nazaneen Ghaffar.

She said: “It has been incredibly dry for many areas of the UK and Ireland over the last couple of months and with the recent very warm weather it’s no surprise a fire has started on Saddleworth Moor.

“In May parts of western Scotland and the west of Northern Ireland experienced average rainfalls, and there were big thunderstorms in central and southern areas of England.

“However there wasn’t really any widespread rain, so overall the rainfall for the month of May was below average and June has been mostly dry as well.

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“With high pressure allowing for sunny skies, light winds and therefore a day on day build-up of heat, the risk of wild fires remains, especially for parts of north-west England where the highest temperatures are likely for the next couple of days.”

The Met Office’s fire severity index, which assesses how severe a fire could become if one were to start, forecast blazes to reach level 2 (high) and 3 (very high) for most of England and Wales on Tuesday and Wednesday, including the area covering Saddleworth Moor.

From – SkyNews


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