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Hundreds of firefighters continue to tackle 'unprecedented' moorland fires

Firefighters to continue to battle 'unprecedented' moorland fires Photo: PA

More than 100 firefighters from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service are continuing to battle against 'unprecedented' moorland fires in Bolton and Tameside.

There are 12 fire engine crews currently at the scene at Tameside, whilst a further 10 engines are based at Winter Hill, where they are supporting 14 fire engine crews from Lancashire Fire Rescue Service and 2 from Tyne and Wear.

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Assistant County Fire Officer, Dave Keelan, from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said:

The temperature is one of the most challenging aspect for firefighters at the moment – working in fire kit with the sun beating down is really difficult and we are rotating them as much as we can

“It’s really challenging to have resources across two major incidents in Greater Manchester whilst trying to maintain business as usual but we have been extremely fortunate and I thank colleagues from up and down the country who have sent fire engines and officers to support us and also the military who have done a fantastic job supporting us.

“We don’t know the cause of the Tameside incident yet. We have a team of fire investigators doing some work on that but I would just like to urge the public to be really careful with discarded cigarettes and glass bottles – none of us want to destroy the wildlife and the natural beauty that we have got around us in Greater Manchester so if the public can take extra care when they are out and about in areas like this it would be much appreciated.”

– Dave Keelan, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service

Due to the smoke from the fire Tameside Council have announced that the following schools are closed for the day:

  • Buckton Vale
  • Millbrook
  • St Raphael's
  • Mossley Hollins

Advice from Public Health England for those living nearby the fires is:

  • Stay indoors
  • Keep doors and windows closed
  • Tune in to the local radio station for advice and information
  • Motorists travelling through smoke should keep windows and air vents closed.
  • Those who need to be outdoors should avoid areas affected by smoke or ash, or limit the time they spend in them.
  • Those with asthma should carry their inhaler with them at all times.

Smoke can irritate air passages, the skin and the eyes leading to coughing and wheezing, breathlessness and chest pain.

It can also worsen existing problems such as asthma and people with asthma should carry their inhaler with them at all times.

Anyone concerned about their symptoms is advised to contact their GP or the NHS 111 service.

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