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Moorland Fires During Covid Pandemic

Firefighters have attended two separate moorland fires, both believed to have been started deliberately and both on the same evening.


Fire crews from Glossop and Hyde (Greater Manchester) were first called at 20:04 hours last night, to reports of a moorland fire just off the A628 at Woodhead. 


At 23:37 hours, Firefighters from Glossop were called again, along with colleagues from Stalybridge (Greater Manchester) to a fire on Torside, Didsbury Intake.


Speaking following both incidents, Group Manager Paul Hawker said: “Clearly the stay at home message isn’t getting through to some people and once again it's devastating to see fires burning on the moors.


“Moorland fires cause untold damage to the landscape and local wildlife and while crews are tied up responding to such fires, they aren't available to attend potentially life risk emergencies.


“At a time when we are all coming together to play our part in supporting the NHS and other key workers, saving lives and generally doing what we can to get through this pandemic, the thought of someone deliberately starting such a fire is despicable.


“The advice is quite simple, stay at home!”


Detective Inspector Toby Fawcett-Greaves of Derbyshire Constabulary said the fire at Woodhead is thought to have been caused by a BBQ which got out of control. He said: "Flouting the guidelines puts not only yourselves at risk, but also those who are here to keep you safe. A number of officers and firefighters were deployed to this incident, one which was clearly avoidable.


“We are following a number of lines of enquiry to identify those responsible. I would ask local communities to remain vigilant and I encourage anyone with information that could help us with our investigation to contact us on 101. Please remember, stay at home, save lives and protect our NHS."


Stay at home messages not getting through at two moorland fires are started (pdf 207.17 KB)