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Huge moorland fire at The Roaches continues to burn as public warned to stay away

The wildfire at the Roaches, seen from the area of the Winking Man. Photos: Jason Chadwick.
The wildfire at the Roaches, seen from the area of the Winking Man. Photos: Jason Chadwick.

Firefighters battling a large moorland blaze at the Roaches expect to remain at the scene throughout the weekend and into next week.

The painstaking work to extinguish the fire at Upper Hulme, in the Staffordshire Moorlands, has been ongoing since Thursday afternoon.

Firefighters from Staffordshire, helped by colleagues from Derbyshire, are tackling the fire using backpacks, beaters and main water jets.

Dams have been set up to supply water to the area, and a helicopter has been dumping water from a local reservoir on parts which are proving difficult to access.

Pictures and video show large moorland fire on The Roaches

The Roaches ridge will remain closed to the public throughout the weekend, and possibly into next week. Roaches Road and surrounding lanes are also shut.

The valleys east of the Roaches were choked with smoke on Friday morning.

The valleys east of the Roaches were choked with smoke on Friday morning.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service Response Director, Tim Hyde, speaking on Friday afternoon, said: "At one stage we had about 85 firefighters here, we've got about 50-55 now.

"The rain that we've had for about an hour has really helped us, but the wind is starting to get up now and we expect to be here for a very, very long time into next week."

Urgent warning issued after members of the public try to walk through large moorland blaze on The Roaches

Group Manager Jim Bywaters said the terrain and windy conditions were making the firefighters' job very hard.

The fire service is urging people to avoid the area.

The fire service is urging people to avoid the area.

"Please stay away from the area while our firefighting activity continues, it is too dangerous to come walking or climbing and we need to keep emergency vehicle access clear," he stressed.

Helicopter to be used to help fight large moorland fire on The Roaches

"We estimate that around 80 acres of land is involved - when the flames are out we still have to put lots of water on any smoking areas as the heat is deep-seated due to the peat soil.

"We're tackling the fire from all sides and have used a helicopter to put water on the fire from above the rocky forest area we couldn't reach on foot.

"We are working closely with partners from Severn Trent, the Peak District National Park and colleagues from Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service who are helping at the scene.

"We'd like to thank the public for offers of support, donations and local businesses for providing firefighters with refreshments."