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Pictures: Heat of Saddleworth fire 'truly energy sapping' as blaze enters fifth day

Firefighters described the heat as 'truly energy sapping' as they battle to control the blaze. Credit: Manchester Fire and Rescue Service

Beating at flames in "truly energy sapping" heat, these pictures show the sheer enormity of the task exhausted Manchester firefighters face as they seek to bring an end to the blaze sweeping across Saddleworth Moor.

As well as the heat from the inferno, firefighters are working under the blazing sun. Credit: Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
People are being reminded to keep windows and doors shut as their is a lot of smoke in the air. Credit: Manchester Fire and Rescue Service

As the fire enters its fifth day and shows no signs of abating, 100 members of the military have been called in to help tackle the "biggest fire in living memory".

On Wednesday night, smoke from the seven square miles of fire turned the sun red, while ash rained down from the sky as the inferno raged above Oldham and Tameside.

Smoke from the fire turned the sky red on Wednesday evening. Credit: Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
Firefighters have said the blaze is the worst fire to hit the moor in 'living memory'. Credit: Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
Exhausted firefighters are working rolling 12-hour shifts to try and bring an end to the fire. Credit: Manchester Fire and Rescue Service

As well as the firefighters on the ground, a helicopter has been dropping water on to the fires, but what the force really needs to help them out is rain, but none is forecast.

Due to the predicted hot, dry weather, Assistant Chief Fire Officer Tony Hunter said the fire could be "prolonged for days, if not weeks.

"It is dependent on a downpour of rain - and it would have to be a significant downpour of rain because it is so dry it would be absorbed very, very quickly."

He also warned that a change in wind direction could create a "different picture then in terms of the fuel available to this fire".

A helicopter has been dropping water on the fire. Credit: PA
The fire now covers seven square miles of moorland. Credit: PA
The scale of the task firefighters face is immense. Credit: PA
Smoke rises from the moor. Credit: PA

Such is the extent of the fire that NASA satellites have picked up the plumes of smoke.

While firefighters have been hard at work, they have been provided with refreshments by local residents and businesses .

The cause of the original seat of the fire - thought to be at Buckton Hill, Carrbrook - has not been established but fire chiefs said a detailed investigation would be launched at the appropriate time.

Some 100 members of the military have been called in to help firefighters. Credit: Manchester Fire and Rescue Service

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