England fans warned not to make fire crews' jobs 'harder' with barbecues

England fans warned not to make fire crews' jobs 'harder' with barbecues

England fans enjoy a barbecue. Image: Getty

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

England football fans have been urged not to make the job of fire crews fighting moorland blazes "any harder" by leaving barbecues unattended or cooking while drinking alcohol.

Fire chiefs in Greater Manchester made the plea to the public ahead of the World Cup knockout clash with Colombia on Tuesday evening which will be watched by millions of TV viewers.

Crews are continuing to battle fires in Tameside, east of Manchester, for a second week, while assisting colleagues in Lancashire at a similar blaze in Winter Hill near Bolton and dealing with routine calls in the region.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) area manager Jim Hutton said: "Whilst you are enjoying the World Cup this evening, please think of our crews who are continuing to tackle two major moorland fires. With this in mind, please don't make their job any harder by leaving barbecues unattended or cooking whilst drinking alcohol.

"I would also urge people to take care around water. It may be tempting to cool off in a reservoir or lake but the even the strongest of swimmers can get into difficulties and there can be unknown hazards underwater."

Some 45 firefighters remain at the scene in Tameside above Stalybridge with support from crews from the West Midlands, South Yorkshire, Gloucestershire and West Yorkshire, plus the ongoing assistance of troops from the Royal Regiment of Scotland (4 SCOTS).

Crews are using specialist vehicles including four high volume pumps and a helicopter to dampen down the blaze from height and fight the fire.

While 35 GMFRS firefighters are supporting 140 colleagues from Lancashire in their battle to maintain control of the blaze at Winter Hill which broke out when two moorland fires either side of the hill merged on Saturday because of increased wind speed.

Lancashire area manager Steve Morgan said the fire site remained "incredibly challenging" and conditions were "arduous" for firefighters.

In Derbyshire, fire chiefs said talks were ongoing to dissuade organisers of a sky lantern festival from going ahead with the event in Buxton, which is surrounded by the Peak District National Park, later this month.