Fire crews continue to battle major Saddleworth Moor blaze

Reporter: Jon Chubb
Date published: 27 February 2019

Crews were called to the scene shortly before 8pm on Tuesday (26th February) following reports of a fire just off the A62 Manchester Road near Diggle.

Clouds of billowing smoke can be seen for miles around coming from the flames with the Oldham Evening Chronicle seeing dramatic pictures of the fire zig-zagging across grassland while it burns.

Picture courtesy of John Turner

When it was first reported as many as ten firefighters were sent to the scene on Marsden Moor to tackle the blaze, believed to be around 200 meters square.

But since then the fire has expanded rapidly with latest estimates putting it as covering as much as 1.5 square kilometres with a 30-strong team of firefighters trying to bring it under control.

Their work is being hampered by the remote location of the fire with beaters and blowers being used to try and put the fire out.

Pictures courtesy of John Turner

Greater Manchester Police have also been seen in the area along with fire crews from West Yorkshire while a wildlife unit from Stalybridge has also been sent to the scene.

It had been hoped the fire, much like the others reported this month, would have been brought under control quickly however it soon became apparent that wouldn’t be possible with the unseasonably hot weather of the last few days meaning the grassland was dry, aiding the flames to spread.

Pictures courtesy of John Turner

Fire crews are continuing to battle the flames this morning (Wednesday 27th February) having been on the moors throughout the night.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service have said a helicopter is on standby should it be needed to try and drop water onto the fire in a bid to try and bring it under control.


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