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Wildfire warning after moorland barbecue spotted

Last summer, firefighters from around the country spent more than a week battling a blaze on Saddleworth Moor.

A barbecue being used on Saddleworth Moor (Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue/PA)
A barbecue being used on Saddleworth Moor (Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue/PA)

Fire chiefs have issued a safety warning after a group of people were caught using a barbecue on Saddleworth Moor.

The incident took place at Dovestone Reservoir in Oldham amid soaring temperatures last Saturday, although luckily it did not start a blaze in the surrounding area.

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Firefighters discovered a barbecue being used on Saddleworth Moor (Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service/PA)

Last summer, firefighters from around the country spent more than a week battling a wildfire on the moor above Stalybridge – which was treated as arson – and needed the Army to be drafted in.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) station manager Dave Swallow, who covers Mossley and Stalybridge, said: “Prevention and reassurance work around moorland fires continues across Greater Manchester, with ourselves often working closely with local councils and Greater Manchester Police.

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A firefighter tackles last summer’s wildfire on Saddleworth Moor (Danny Lawson/PA)

“We continue to ask people to take care, especially when on the moors, and never light a barbecue or start any kind of fire. These fires are devastating and the consequences so costly – to the community, the environment and also to our service and resources.”

Regular patrols will continue at local beauty spots by GMFRS community safety staff, fire crews and volunteers including Women’s Institute members.

GMFRS has been working closely with local authorities, particularly Tameside and Oldham Councils, to implement Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO) which, if enforced, mean anyone caught lighting a fire or barbecue in specified areas will be fined.

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