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Saddleworth Moor fire: Homes evacuated as blaze continues to rage


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A huge moorland fire is continuing to spread because the land is "as dry as a tinder box" and winds are fanning the flames.

The blaze covers 3.7miles (6km) of Saddleworth Moor and has been raging since Sunday night.

More than 50 homes were evacuated in Carrbrook, near Stalybridge, Greater Manchester, and 150 people affected.

One resident described seeing "ash falling like rain" and another said it "looked like the apocalypse".

Dave Keelan, director of emergency response at Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, said 70 of its firefighters were tackling the blaze.

He confirmed talks were ongoing to see if the Army could offer extra teams, four-wheel drive vehicles and air support

Picture showing fire on moors


Brenda Warrington, leader of Tameside Council, said firefighters were hoping for a "really good downpour" and rain was "the only thing" that would quickly deal with the blaze.

"We do need mother nature to help us quite frankly," she said.

"It's as dry as a tinder box up there. A lot of winds are fanning the fire."

Mr Keelan said there were four different areas of fire embedded within peat, which is "extremely difficult" for crews to extinguish.

"They are working extremely hard, as they have been for the past couple of days, in really arduous conditions in heat and smoke," he said.

Moorland fire


Matt Lomas, 76, who was evacuated with his wife, daughter and eight-month-old granddaughter Isla, said: "We could see flames 50ft high like a raging ball of fire all on the hill side.

"It was really scary, we were really worried the smoke would hurt Isla so we had to get out."

Angela Brown, 59, said she saw "ash falling like rain" from the raging fire.

"It was terrifying. It was getting closer and closer. Every so often there was a crackle and flames would shoot in the air."

Firefighters tackle moorland fire


Pete Woodward, 43, said: "It looked like the apocalypse. There was a towering inferno of flames."

He said he "just grabbed a toothbrush and underpants" and got out with his partner and two young daughters.

"The flames were 500 metres long, it was a raging wildfire. You could hear the odd explosion but thankfully the house survived."

Saddleworth fire


The fire began on Sunday night, reignited on Monday during the hot weather and then spread throughout Tuesday, fanned by evening winds.

Police said the homes in Carr Rise, Carr Lane and Calico Crescent were evacuated on Tuesday evening due to the proximity of the flames.

The majority of people had returned by Wednesday afternoon.

Moorland fire satellite image

Saddleworth Moor smoke on Tue evening

full news message + source and video's: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-manchester-44624021

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