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27-06-18

National coordination response to Tameside moorland fires is underway

Specialist teams from fire and rescue services across the country are now attending the Tameside moorland fires, to offer additional support, equipment and expertise.       

Teams from Northumberland, Merseyside and Lancashire fire and rescue services are at the scene to assist. They are looking to identify additional ways to fight the fire and give tactical advice, which will be of paramount importance over the next 24 to 36 hours.

 This could include the potential use of ‘defensive burning’;  a decision will be taken following an assessment at the scene.

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) has a specialist wildfire group which sits under its National Operations Coordination Committee. The expertise of this group is now being utilised to offer expert advice to Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service’s incident command team. Wildfire experts will also assist at the incident and give professional and operational assistance.

Discussions and support remain ongoing and further updates will be given as the situation unfolds. The Prime Minister is keeping it under ‘constant review’ after it was declared as a major incident. NFCC is in discussions with the government to ensure the incident is being responded to appropriately and tactical plans are constantly being reviewed in response to the fire.

While wildfires may be sporadic, it is a frequent incident type for a number of fire services across the county. In line with national resilience plans in place, fire and rescue services from across the country will mobilise to incidents such as these, to ensure the best technical, fire-fighting skills, advice and equipment are deployed to the scene.

Fires such as these can spread exceptionally quickly and have devastating effects on wildlife, the environment, local communities who may need to be evacuated, the economy and infrastructure. During spells of hot weather, wildfires can become more commonplace and NFCC is urging people to take additional steps to help prevent such fires. This includes ensuring barbecues, cigarettes and smoking materials are fully extinguished and disposed of correctly, campers should ensure fires are never left unattended and are put out before leaving, while additional care should be taken with burning fires outside at home.

Roy Wilsher, Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council said: “As part of our national response, NFCC is coordinating a response via its national resilience arrangements, which includes specialists on wildfire. This ensures we have the right people, assets and equipment in place to assist.  Fire and rescue services across the country are trained to respond and assist to these type of incidents and deploy to them as appropriate.

"This also includes working to the nationally adopted JESIP principles, which ensures all emergency services are working together, to an agreed set of principles, working towards keeping the public safe.”

 Part of this response is tactical advisers; which sees, emergency services appoint officers to act in this capacity once the scale and nature of the incident is known.

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