Specialist teams from fire and rescue services continue their support at moor wildfire

Specialist teams from fire and rescue services are continuing to offer support to the Tameside moorland fires. There are more than 100 firefighters in attendance which has led to a significant improvement at the scene.

Teams from Northumberland, Merseyside, Derbyshire, Cumbia and Lancashire fire and rescue services are all in attendance, this has included specialist response vehicles and air response.

Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue deployed its specialist wildfire team and 4x4 to Manchester on Wednesday afternoon and they been used to good effect over the last two days.

West Midlands, South Yorkshire and Nottingham fire services have also deployed assets to the scene to assist.

Good progress has been made and the fires are under control, but are across multiple sites. Weather conditions currently mean the wind is not directing the fire towards the moorland. It has affected seven square miles of burnt moorland and is three miles in length. There has been a second blaze near Rivington, Lancashire.

Tactical advisers from Lancashire and Northumberland have attended the Tameside and Rivington fires. In addition there are NFCC Tac Ad colleagues from Merseyside and South Wales. This includes a specialist suppression team from South Wales, equipped with four by fours and Polaris all-terrian capability.

‘Defensive burning’ is being considered which will create brakes to help stop the fire.  The situation remains challenging and it is likely firefighters will be in attendance for a number of days, with the possibility of it extending into weeks.

Tactical advisers from the National Fire Chiefs Council specialist wildfire group are also in attendance, and offering expertise to Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service’s incident command team. This includes professional and operational assistance.

 In line with NFCC’s national resilience plans, fire and rescue services from across the country will mobilise to large-scale incidents such as this, to ensure the best technical, firefighting skills, advice and equipment are deployed to the scene.

 NFCC is providing regular updates to the Home Office as the incident continues. This helps to ensure there is a ‘real time’ flow of incident directly to the government, including details of tactical plans in place and how they are being reviewed in response to the fire.

 Roy Wilsher, Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council said: “The response from fire and rescue services across the country has been incredible. An incident of this scale needs a coordinated, joined-up approach; this ensures we have the right people, assets and equipment in place. NFCC is continuing to provide regular updates to the government about the incident.

 “I would like to thank everyone who is assisting at the incident, from firefighters, partners and also to the general public who have come together to offer help and assistance.”

 Advice from Manchester Fire and Rescue Service includes ensuring people in the area should be aware of the environment and changing conditions. The public is also being asked to keep access roads and routes free.

NFCC’s Wildfire Group play a full and active role in England and Wales Wildfire Forum (EWWF) and Scottish Wildfire Forum (SWF) groups.  It also acts as a consultee on legislation or guidance issued by partners which is relevant to wildfire. It also monitoring weather alerts from the Natural Hazards Partnership and reacts locally to these.

  • It provides professional advice and judgement to Cabinet Office
  • led the development of NFCC’s National Operational Guidance for Wildfires.
  • NFCC promotes the use and creation of Wildfire Fire Plans/Wildfire Response Plans across UK FRS. These plans help landowners and fire and rescue services to better prepare for and respond to wildfires by ensuring key information is available if and when it is needed.  
  • It is working on policy and procedure for the use of tactical burning to effectively manage fuel loading and for  defensive and offensive firefighting operations and has
  • developed a wildfire tactical advisor training competency framework 
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