Helicopter drops water on huge Peak District fire

media captionThe footage of the helicopter dropping water on the moorland fire "captures the drama of the day"

A helicopter has been used to drop water over a huge moorland fire that broke out in the Peak District.

The fire at Big Moor, Derbyshire, damaged an area the size of 53 football pitches from midday on Monday.

Firefighters were initially called to tackle the blaze on 12 acres (5 ha), but that later rose to 106 acres (43ha) before it was put out by 08:00 BST.

Pennine Helicopters, which dropped the water, said the "dramatic footage captures the drama of the day".

A passer-by captured the video and photographs of the fire, which firefighters said is being treated as suspicious.

Marc Redford, from Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "It is believed to be suspicious ignition, possibly deliberate, but that is something for the police and Eastern Moors staff to establish."

image copyrightPennine Helicopters
image captionA helicopter was used to help bring the fire under control
image copyrightPennine Helicopters
image captionA passer-by captured the footage and photographs of the fire

Charlotte Ruddy from Pennine Helicopters said: "They are dramatic and show the effectiveness of the helicopter.

"The video shows the speed it was working at too."

Just two weeks ago, the fire service said a wildfire in the Peak District's Goyt Valley was also believed to have been started on purpose.

Incident commander Steve Wells, from Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "Firefighters worked tremendously hard fighting what is an extremely large area of moorland on fire."

Mr Wells tweeted to thank the seven crews and teams who attended for their "cracking effort".

The fire service said it had left the scene at about 21:30 on Monday and returned early Tuesday morning to "make assessments".

It said it would work with the National Trust and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds to "look at prevention methods" for the future.

The National Trust said: "The fire was put out on Monday night and fire crews and the eastern moors team were out this morning damping down hotspots.

"Fire crews have now left site and the site team remain vigilant, checking on any smoulder and putting it out where they find it."

image copyrightEastern Moors
image captionThe blaze broke out at about midday on Monday

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