FIREFIGHTERS TACKLE TWO LARGE MOORLANDS BLAZES

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has been tackling two major blazes in the Moorlands since Sunday June 30.

The Service was called at 5.15am to the incident between Thorncliffe and Shawfields near to the former Mermaid pub. There were seven pumps in attendance at the height of the blaze which involved half a square kilometre of heathland, coarse grass and dry heather.

The operations are now scaling down and there are currently two pumps at the incident using a portable dam which is being filled with thousands of litres of water by the water carrier. There is also assistance from the rangers at the scene.

On Sunday, July 1 crews were also called to another fire at Lady Edge at around 3.45pm which measures around one mile from the first Moorlands blaze. There were originally six pumps in attendance however this has now been reduced to one appliance using water from the main hydrant.

Group Manager Brian Griffiths said:

“Crews are continuing to tackle the fires in the Moorlands and are reassessing the situation every four hours with a hope to further scale down operations this evening.

“We are working closely with our partners including Seven Trent Water to ensure there is sufficient water supply to tackle the fire and discussions are taking place to use water from the Tittesworth Reservoir if needs be.

“The Service is expecting to be on the scene throughout today and urge residents to adhere to the road closures that are in place for their own safety and to allow our crews to continue with their operations.

“The smoke plume is now reducing and we advise residents to use their discretion on whether or not to open their windows. The smoke is not thought to be affecting areas in Leek however if your area is affected at all by smoke please keep windows and doors shut.

“We would like to thank our partners and everyone who has helped us in tackling this fire and for the kind offers of assistance from volunteers. Unfortunately due to the nature of the incident we can not accept these offers due to the dangers presented by the fire.”

Dr David Kirrage, lead Health Protection Consultant with Public Health England (PHE) West Midlands, said:

“Substances in smoke can worsen health problems like asthma and heart conditions, so people in affected areas should carry their medication. Smoke can irritate airways, skin, eyes, and cause coughing and wheezing, breathlessness and chest pain. If anyone has these symptoms as a result of being in areas affected by the smoke, they should seek medical advice from their GP or NHS111.”

Gill Heath, Cabinet Member for Communities at Staffordshire County Council said:

“Our highways teams and country park rangers have been working with the fire service over the weekend as they dealt with a large grass fire which started on Saturday evening.

“A number of roads still remain closed in the area and I would like to remind motorists to please observe the closures and use alternative routes until the area is made safe. It has also been necessary to temporarily close a number of public paths near to the site, so once again we are urging people not to visit the area.”