Firefighters working in difficult conditions tackling serious moorland blaze

FIREFIGHTING presence has been stepped up at the serious huge heathland blaze in the Staffordshire Moorlands.

Right: The  dramatic scene overnight at The Roaches. Photo by Mick Hall.

Twelve fire crews, assisted by two water carriers from Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, have been tackling the fire to the rear of The Roaches at Upperhulme near Leek. 

Severn Trent Water is also supplying water tankers to assist the firefighters in their efforts to contain the blaze.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service was alerted to the incident yesterday afternoon. The fire quickly spread due to the tinder dry conditions underfoot resulting from the recent heatwave.

Smoke from the blazing heather and woodland has blown to as far away as Tideswell, in Derbyshire, after the wind changed to a north easterly direction.

Rob Barber, Staffordshire’s deputy chief fire officer, is urging people to avoid the area for not only their own safety, but also to allow the firefighters to get on with their job unhindered.

Roads in the area remain closed to traffic.

Cheadle firefighter Kevin Bostock reported on Facebook earlier today: “Still here from 1.30 this morning and still it burns . . . crews working very hard in difficult conditions.”

* The fire service are accepting donations of non-perishable food and drink for firefighters tackling the blaze on The Roaches.

Donations can be taken to Leek Community Fire Station, on Springfield Road, between 9am and 5pm.