As the Saddleworth Moor blaze enters its second week, dedicated firefighters continue to work tirelessly to douse the flames. But with fresh challenges levelled against them and scorching summer temperatures to contend with, it’s up to the local community to help.
If you’ve been bothered by the heat over the last few weeks, spare a thought to the firefighters wrestling with heavy equipment to douse the fire on Saddleworth Moor. Since Sunday 24th June, the moorlands – set between Oldham and Tameside – have been ablaze, in a display visible from space.
As smoke continues to make its way into Manchester city centre and the surrounding areas, and the fires show no sign of abating, local are showing their gratitude to firefighters for all they’ve done – and they’re helping in their own way.
So far, over 2000 acres of moorland has reportedly been destroyed by the fire as it rages across Saddleworth towards Derbyshire. But what exactly is keeping firefighters from tackling the blaze quickly?
Unfortunately, the hot weather and severe lack of rain, combined with the presence of peat beneath the surface, results in a fire which requires more specialised tactics to deal with. What’s more, at least seven different fires have broken out at different locations across the area, spreading resources thinly.
But it’s not just the fire itself which is causing problems and creating challenges: firefighters are having to compete with arsonists starting additional fires on purpose, the ongoing harsh weather, and disturbances caused by the public taking photos – as well as a lack of crucial resources.
How to Help
Luckily, there are ways in which the local community can help firefighters as they continue their hard work:
- Don’t take photos: many members of the public have been found blocking vital access points to the fire in order to take photographs. As tempting as it might be, fire crews have asked for risky behaviour to be avoided so they can continue their work.
- Report Arsonists: police helicopters have spotted individuals starting fresh fires on the moors, adding to the situation and presenting fresh danger. Remain vigilant and report any attempts of arson to the police – and, of course, don’t partake in any risky behaviour which could start another fire.
- Donate Refreshments: it’s already difficult to imagine getting through a day in this heat without a drink to keep you going, but consider the conditions in which firefighters are currently working. And, with austerity weighing heavily on resources and the remoteness of the moorlands, crews are struggling to source enough refreshments for all individuals present.
- Make Other Donations: it’s not just water and food the firefighters are in need of either. Appeals have been flooding in since the fire began for hats, socks, insect repellent and sun cream to help firefighters to cope better with the weather and conditions.
A Community Coming Together
In the face of such a widespread disaster, the community have unsurprisingly shown their Greater Manchester spirit by rallying around firefighters. Within the first 48 hours, a Facebook group had been set up to collect and direct donations for fire crews, whilst staff at Morrisons in Dukinfield made their own efforts, providing much needed supplies.
Although this is a troubling time, it’s nonetheless heart-warming to see a community come together, embodying everything that makes Manchester such an industrious and welcoming place. As members of the Manchester business community, we at Kaleida couldn’t be prouder, and hope to do our part to help too.
In the meantime, the gratitude speaks for itself, with many taking to Twitter to share their thanks. I too would like to say thank you on behalf of Kaleida, to the firefighters risking their safety to extinguish the blaze – we couldn’t be more grateful for your hard work.
If you would like to donate to the firefighters, please take all donations (non-perishable food, water, energy bars, sun cream etc.) to Stalybridge or Bolton North fire stations between 10am-6pm.
The Kaleida team are proud to be a Manchester based software development house, in a city where people come together to help one another. To find out more about Kaleida, feel free to get in touch or explore our website.