Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service has joined fire fighters in South Yorkshire to help tackle a devastating moorland fire using specialist equipment
On-call firefighters from Market Drayton and Whitchurch crews along with an incident commander are working alongside Humberside, South and West Yorkshire Fire Services around the clock.
The perimeter has been divided into segments and teams are methodically working through the area which covers nearly 16kmsq – that’s an area the size of almost 200 football pitches.
Shropshire’s all-terrain vehicle with high pressure jets – known as a ‘fogging unit’ - is working at the heart of the moorland, identifying hotspots with thermal imaging cameras and forcing water into the ground to ensure the deep-seated fire is fully extinguished and does not reignite.
A helicopter has also been helping fire crews, by ferrying water from nearby lakes to douse hot spots.
Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service, Prevention and Protection manager Jon Temple said: “We were called out to more than 10 fires in the open within 24 hours this week in Shropshire.
“This situation shows how damaging fire can be, a small ember carried by the wind can ignite a vast area. We strongly urge people not to use disposable barbecues in parks and grasslands, make sure cigarettes are properly extinguished and not to have garden bonfires.
“Litter should also be disposed of properly in bins - particularly glass bottles - as they can act as a lens, intensifying the sun’s rays, creating a heat source that can ignite and cause a fire.
“Although the cause of the moorland fire in Yorkshire is currently unknown, it has destroyed acres of wildlife habitat, is still using vast amounts of resources and putting firefighters lives at risk. We would not want something similar replicated here in Shropshire.”
The blaze has been burning since Sunday, May 17 on Hatfield Moors, just across the border into South Yorkshire fuelled by high peat levels.
South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue say the incident is now under control and that firefighters are working systematically to fully extinguish the blaze and have warned they expect to be on site for several days to come.
Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service is always looking for on-call firefighters. They form a crucial part of the Service and come from all walks of life and are of all ages starting from 18.
If you, or someone you know is looking for a new challenge, they must live or work within five minutes of a station and be available for a set number of hours each week to answer 999 calls.
Full training, support, promotion opportunities along with excellent pay await candidates who must pass physical and written tests and ideally have good communication skills and enjoy working in a team.
For further information or media enquiries, images or interviews email or call the communications team on 01743 260 185 / 07583 023 878 Ref: PR62