Smoke from the moor fires drifts across the Pennine landscapeFire crews are battling two major moorland fires in the Pennines.

Smoke from the moor fires drifts across the Pennine landscape

About 65 firefighters are tackling the first blaze, which has engulfed 11km (7 miles) of Rishworth Moor near Ripponden in West Yorkshire. Ten fire engines from the West Yorkshire fire service and a further three from Greater Manchester are at the scene.

Another section of moorland is ablaze at Scammonden, near Huddersfield, about 4km (2½ miles) south of the Rishworth fire. Five fire pumps are at the site.

The seat of the Rishworth Moor fire is near Baitings Reservoir, next to the main A58 transpennine road. Crews are using beaters and attempting to create fire breaks. A fire chief has also taken to the skies in the West Yorkshire Police helicopter to assess the situation.

A spokesman for the fire service said strong and variable winds are hampering the operation.

The fire service was first notified at about 6.30 this morning and firefighters have been on the moor since then. Crews are using portable pumps to help fight the blaze.

Five appliances were sent to Saddleworth Road near Scammonden at 3.45pm when the second fire broke out. A specialised hose-laying unit is also attending.

Smoke from the two blazes is drifting for miles into Greater Manchester, on strong easterly winds. The fire services said there are no reports of injuries or damage to properties.

Virtually the whole of the Pennines, from the Scottish border south to the northern stretches of the Peak District is at an exceptional risk of fire, according to the official Met Office rating.

The north Pennines, Yorkshire Dales, south Pennines and northern Peak are all at the maximum level five, which triggers an automatic closing of access land, apart from public rights of way which cross it.

However, although the blazes on both moors are on Countryside and Rights of Way access land, they are both next to main roads crossing the Pennines. The Pennine Way passes close to both areas.

The fire risk is due to drop tomorrow if forecast rain arrives.

See also

Yorkshire Dales on fire alert as moorland dries out