Firefighters from Cumbria have been helping to tackle large moorland wildfires in neighbouring Lancashire and South Yorkshire over the past week as part of an emergency response.
They have been working alongside colleagues from several other Fire and Rescue Services and partner agencies in the region, battling wildfires at two separate sites at Longridge Fell and Darwen Moor in Lancashire and a third wildfire at Hatfield Moor, near Doncaster.
Hatfield Moors – Managers and fire crews from Sedbergh, Ambleside and Windermere have been supporting South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, which has been battling a wildfire covering hundreds of acres of moorland in challenging weather conditions.
Darwen Moor – Managers and fire crew from Appleby were deployed from Sunday to Tuesday to support Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service. The incident started on Saturday night when a fire quickly spread across a vast area of the moors. The Appleby crew used Cumbria’s Wildfire Unimog, which can carry 4,000 litres of water and specialist wildfire fighting equipment, and helped stop the fire from spreading to nearby farms and houses.
Longridge Fell – A high volume pump and crew from Kendal supported Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service to tackle a fire involving a tree plantation, working from Sunday until Tuesday evening with crews rotating each day and night.
In all three incidents, neighbouring Fire and Rescue Services requested mutual aid support from Cumbria due to the severity of the fires.
Steve Healey, Cumbria County Council’s Chief Fire Officer, said: “At Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, we have a number of highly trained firefighters who are very experienced in tackling challenging wildfires, in addition to some fantastic wildfire equipment. We’re proud of the work our crews have been doing to support colleagues in Lancashire and South Yorkshire in dealing with three significant fires. In emergency situations like this, fire and rescue services work together as one team and pool our resources, so it’s pleasing to see Cumbria playing an important role.”
Cllr Janet Willis, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Fire and Rescue, said: “Incidents such as these should serve as a warning of the devastating impact wildfires can have on the environment. We would urge everyone to be careful and when out in the countryside, don’t use disposable barbecues, don’t light open fires and don’t throw cigarette ends on the ground.”