Homes evacuated as serious woodland blaze continues to rage

FIREFIGHTERS are continuing to tackle a serious woodland blaze in the Staffordshire Moorlands which has led to several homes being evacuated

The fire broke out at the rear of The Roaches at Upperhulme, near Leek, more than 24 hours ago and has since quickly spread over a huge area.

Dams have been set up in streams in the area to ensure the firefighters have a constant supply of water to extinguish the flames.

As many as 12 firefighting appliances from across Staffordshire have been at the scene of the blaze at any one time, while the neighbouring Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service has assisted by despatching two water carriers.

Seven Trent Water have also made two water tankers available to help.

Rob Barber, Staffordshire’s deputy chief fire officer, said: “This incident is likely to continue for some time, the terrain and wind conditions are creating difficulty in accessing the fire safely.

“Overnight we evacuated two rural homes and we continue to protect these properties. Any residents that need to leave will be informed directly.”

Hulme Road and bordering country lanes around The Roaches remain closed in the interests of public safety.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service director of response, Tim Hyde said: “We have seen some members of the public trying to access the area; please stay clear as it is extremely dangerous.”

Food and drink has been generously donated by local businesses and individuals to the firefighters who are working in difficult conditions.