Homes evacuated as moor fire rages
A HUGE moorland fire has forced people to spend the night away from their homes – as the Greater Manchester blaze continues to spread.
The police have declared the Saddleworth Moor fire a “major incident” and said the Army is on standby to step in.
Yesterday, people i n the Calico Crescent area of Carrbrook, in Stalybridge, Greater Manchester, were advised to leave their properties as firefighters battled flames nearby.
The blaze started on Sunday and reignited the next day amid Britain’s heatwave and has devastated land around Carrbrook.
Greater Manchester Police said 34 homes have been evacuated so far as strong winds drive the flames closer to residential areas.
The force tweeted: “We are in contact with the Army and they are on standby to help if we need them.”
Images posted on social media (above) showed bright orange flames lighting the night sky, while smoke from the fire can be seen for miles.
No injuries have been reported as a result of the fire, but people living nearby have been advised to keep windows and doors closed by Public Health England.
Tameside Council said that two schools – Mossley Hollins High and Buckton Vale Primary – will be closed due to the ongoing fire.
Phil Nelson, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service group manager for Tameside, said: “Crews are still tackling this difficult fire and are working hard to contain the blaze and prevent further fire spread.”
Meanwhile the mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham thanked fire crews.
He tweeted: “Huge thanks to the GM firefighters working flat out to contain this worrying situation.”
Speaking about the overnight operation to battle the Saddleworth Moor fire, Leon Parkes, assistant chief fire officer with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Fire crews have been working in tremendously difficult conditions in the heat, smoke, working with our partner agencies.
“We’ve taken soil samples and the feedback in respect of the smoke is that they’re at safe levels.”