Homes evacuated as British moorland fire rages


CARRBROOK, England (Reuters) – More than 30 homes have been evacuated near Greater Manchester in northern England as firefighters battle a blaze which has been spreading for days in hot weather across the hills of Saddleworth Moor.

Greater Manchester Police said on Wednesday it had evacuated 34 homes in the village of Carrbrook to the west of the blaze.

The fire has been declared a major incident. Local schools will be closed on Wednesday with residents advised to stay indoors and keep windows and doors closed. The army is on standby to step in to help if required, the police said.

Wind and hot weather over the last three days have caused the fire to spread and police said that its size and the fact they have limited road access to the rural area made it difficult to tackle.

“The plan today is to try and really, really put some resource on the scene and put a really heavy attack on this fire and if that needs military assistance then that’s what we’ll consider,” a spokesman for Greater Manchester Police told Sky News.

There was a heavy presence of firefighters in Carrbrook, from where the moorland could be seen smoldering in the distance. The smoke was visible from the motorway 13 kilometers away.

Police said they had not yet established the cause of the fire.

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Reporting by Phil Noble; writing by Sarah Young; Editing by Kate Holton and Raissa Kasolowsky

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