Pockets of embers still extinguished a month after the blaze on Saddleworth Moor was declared over

The blaze on Saddleworth Moor was declared over last month but pockets of embers are still being found and extinguished by mountain rescue patrols.

At its worst the fire covered seven square miles and took the combined efforts of hundreds of people to tackle it.

The landscape is now unrecognisable as a moorland which once supported a range of wildlife.

Matt Neild of the Oldham Mountain Rescue team battled the blaze last month and told ITV News: “You can see in any direction there is multiple kilometres of land that has just been destroyed.

“It is showing early signs of recovery but that process will take years and for people who live in this area and care about the area, it is so sad what has happened.”

There are signs of recovery but it will take years to return to its former state. Credit: ITV News

The fire has been treated as arson.

Witnesses reported that people were lighting a bonfire on the moorland above Stalybridge, Greater Manchester, on the early evening of Sunday June 24 – about 50 minutes before the first emergency call to raise the alarm.

The fire on land at Buckton Vale, east of Manchester, led to the evacuation of dozens of homes in the village of Carrbrook as flames threatened to engulf properties and continued to spread as fire crews from across the country, with the assistance of the Army, successfully battled to keep the area safe.