Posted: Monday 27 April 2020, 18:09
Firefighters from across Derbyshire have continued working for a fifth day at Rakes Moss, the scene of a moorland fire that has been burning since Thursday 23 April.
Derbyshire crews, supported by Firefighters from Greater Manchester, Peak Park Rangers, the RSPB, and landowners United Utilities , have been working in challenging conditions using a combination of water back packs, beaters, Argo cat vehicles with high pressure hoses and helicopters to fight the fire and prevent its spread.
Speaking from the scene Station Manager Colin Winterbottom said: “Firefighters returned to Rakes Moss at 6am this morning, having left the moor last night for their safety.
“Early this morning, with our colleagues from Greater Manchester, we agreed a tactical approach for today’s firefighting, to limit the spread and extinguish the fire.
“Moorland fires are complex incidents, with deep seated fires often burning underground, several feet beyond the fire front. We also have the weather against us, with hot dry conditions and wind that can change direction in minutes.
“It has been a tremendous effort by everyone involved and we hope that our actions will continue to contain the spread of fire, protecting the ecosystem and wildlife and that the weather will be kind to us and bring some much needed rain.”
Derbyshire Firefighters have attended the moorland today from Buxton, Glossop, Hathersage, New Mills, Shirebrook, Wirksworth and Crich. Firefighters will once again withdraw from the moorland late this evening for safety reasons.
Station Manager Winterbottom went onto say: “While we have had firefighters working on the moors and responding to other emergencies across the county, we continue to support the community response to covid-19, delivering vital medication to vulnerable members of our community and supporting our colleagues from EMAS.
“Moorland fires require a huge response and I would ask people to keep this hard work in mind when thinking of having a BBQ in the countryside, on moorland, or in green open spaces, leaving litter such as glass bottles and discarding cigarettes carelessly – all can start a fire like the one we are currently fighting.”
Firefighters are expected to return in the morning.
A fire investigation into the cause of this fire is ongoing.