Manchester

Saddleworth Moor fire is out after more than three weeks

Saddleworth fire Image copyright Anthony Devlin/Getty Images
Image caption The moorland fire is out after more than three weeks

The wildfire near Saddleworth Moor is fully out and fire crews have left the scene, the fire service has said.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) said it has scaled back in the last week from three fires in Tameside, Bolton and Denshaw and has now withdrawn all firefighters.

The blaze broke out on 24 June and about 100 soldiers were drafted in to help tackle it at its height.

At its peak the fire covered an area of 7 sq miles (18 sq km) of moorland.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Firefighters tackle the wildfire on Saddleworth Moor

The GMFRS said it has monitored all of the areas on the moorlands around Saddleworth to ensure the fires are fully out.

Equipment is being removed from the area and recovery work with partners will begin, it added.

Interim chief fire officer Dawn Docx said: "The last three weeks has been one of the busiest periods that GMFRS has ever experienced and I am incredibly proud of all of our crews, officers and support staff that have worked extremely hard to fight the fires and keep local communities safe.

She added: "The much needed rainfall over the moors has meant that we have now been able to close the incident but I must remind everyone to stay safe on the moorlands especially as schools are due to close this week."

Image caption Greater Manchester Police (GMP) is treating the fire as arson

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) is treating the fire as arson.

It said people were seen lighting a bonfire on the moors near Stalybridge on 24 June, shortly before a call was made to the fire service.

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