Moorland fires: World Cup warning over barbecue dangers

Firefighter tackles the blaze on Winter Hill Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The fire at Winter Hill started on Thursday

Firefighters tackling huge moorland blazes have asked the public not to "make their job any harder" ahead of England's World Cup clash.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) raised concerns about the potential for diverting resources.

More than 200 firefighters are currently on the scene of fires at Saddleworth Moor in Tameside and Winter Hill near Bolton.

GMFRS area manager Jim Hutton asked the public to "think of our crews".

England face Colombia in the last 16 of the competition in Moscow later.

Mr Hutton said: "Whilst you are enjoying the World Cup this evening, please think of our crews who are continuing to tackle two major moorland fires.

"With this in mind, please don't make their job any harder by leaving barbecues unattended or cooking whilst drinking alcohol."

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Media captionWinter Hill fire: Mayor to seek moorland fire government support

The government has also confirmed that military support to tackle the blaze on Saddleworth Moor is to be extended for another three days.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said it has been extended to 17:00 BST on Friday.

"Obviously if further support was to be needed beyond Friday we would look at that in the usual way," the spokesman added.

About 100 troops Royal Regiment of Scotland (4 SCOTS) are deployed at the site.

Image copyright Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption Crews from across the country have battling the blaze at Winter Hill

Meanwhile, one temporary firefighter has told the BBC he had asked to support the crews but his request had been declined.

Emergency Fire Crews (EFCs) are temporary firefighters who commonly provide cover during industrial action.

One EFC, who wished to remain anonymous, said it was "upsetting" that they have not been asked to help.

Assistant Chief Fire Office Tony Hunter said the use of emergency fire crews "is an option that we have considered and discounted at this moment".

"The military have, and are familiar with, their own command structure, unlike the EFCs who would require additional supervision which, due to these ongoing incidents, is not available."

Image copyright Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption Crews are working "exceptionally hard", the fire service said

In Tameside there are 45 firefighters at the scene and this is likely to rise with support from crews from the West Midlands, South Yorkshire, Gloucestershire and West Yorkshire.

Meanwhile, at Winter Hill 140 firefighters from Lancashire Fire and Rescue service are working with 35 from GMFRS.

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