BFF-50 Firefighters tackle second wildfire in northern England

395

ZCZC

BFF-50

BRITAIN-WILDFIRE-MOORLAND

Firefighters tackle second wildfire in northern England

LONDON, July 1, 2018 (BSs/AFP) – Firefighters in northern England launched
a “large-scale attack” on a new moorland blaze Sunday, as emergency
responders continued to battle another nearby wildfire that has been burning
all week.

Crews from Manchester and the surrounding county of Lancashire are tackling
a “rapidly developing, aggressive fire” that gained strength overnight after
two big blazes merged north of Bolton, according to officials.

“We increased firefighting efforts at 4:30 this morning in order to mount a
large-scale attack on the fire fronts,” Lancashire Fire Service said in a
statement.

Twenty-five firefighting vehicles are deployed, he said, adding: “We are
looking into getting helicopter support later in the day to assist with
getting water onto the incident ground.”

Officials warned people to avoid the area — and not fly drones overhead.

“There are helicopters flying in the area to extinguish the fire and the
drones are putting firefighters’ and pilots’ lives at risk,” the fire service
said.

Britain, where large wildfires are rare, has experienced weeks of
uninterrupted hot weather across the country that has left rural areas dry.

With little rain forecast for the area, officials have warned it could be
weeks before they bring the blazes under control.

Meanwhile dozens of firefighters remain at the site of another large blaze
30 miles (48 kilometres) away, which has raging since last Sunday.

Last Thursday members of the armed forces were called in to help tackle the
fire on Saddleworth Moor, east of Manchester, which had led to the temporary
evacuation of dozens of homes.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) said it had 28 fire
engines and 120 personnel battling both moorland blazes.

Smoke has darkened the skies above one of the country’s most densely
populated areas.

BSS/AFP/ARS/2020