Manchester

Saddleworth moor: Fire crews tackle Oldham blaze

Saddleworth Moor Image copyright Matt Turner
Image caption Fifty firefighters were at the blaze overnight

Up to 50 firefighters have been tackling a blaze that broke out on Saddleworth moor overnight.

Crews were called to the scene above Oldham at Grains Road, Delph, where the fire forced road closures in the area.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) said at its height the blaze measured 200m by 500m, but was now under control.

The service said barbecues likely sparked a series of moor fires in the region and West Yorkshire.

Image copyright Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service wants using barbecues to be considered anti-social behaviour

A blaze which broke out on Marsden Moor, West Yorkshire on Sunday covered an estimated 15 sq km (6 sq miles or 3,700 acres) of wildlife habitat, spreading to Saddleworth.

As well as the Grains Road blaze, Greater Manchester and Lancashire firefighters put out moorland fires in Whitworth near Rochdale and Lee Quarry, Bacup overnight.

The fire in Whitworth measured approximately 200 sq metres, fire crews said. It and another in Lee Quarry are now under control.

GMFRS group manager Phil Nelson said people had ignored warnings about using barbecues which cause fires to spread "very rapidly" on moorland.

It is not illegal to use them but he said he wanted it to be considered anti-social behaviour so people could be prosecuted.

Mr Nelson added they were looking into restriction orders on barbecues and possibly cigarettes so they could enforce a ban on them.

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