Manchester

Saddleworth Moor fire: Soldiers stood down from blaze

Soldiers support Great Manchester Fire and Rescue Image copyright MOD SGT DONALD TODD
Image caption Major Phil Morgan said it had been "a real privilege" to help fight the fires

Soldiers sent to assist crews battling the moorland fires in Tameside have been stood down, the deputy mayor of Greater Manchester has announced.

Beverley Hughes said military support for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) was no longer needed as crews are making good progress.

About 100 troops from the 4th Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland were brought in to help on 28 June.

GMFRS crews will also be released from parts of Winter Hill in Lancashire.

Earlier, a second man was arrested on suspicion of arson over the Winter Hill fire.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Firefighters tackle the wildfire on Saddleworth Moor

Ms Hughes thanked the Ministry of Defence for their support to firefighters and officers who are now at the end of their second week of firefighting on the Tameside moorlands, near Saddleworth Moor.

She said: "There are 11 GMFRS fire crews at the Tameside incident and good progress is being made. So much so that officers hope to be able to release crews from most of the other services by the weekend."

Ms Hughes said a small number of special appliances and fire engines from Cheshire will be "remaining for support".

Major Phil Morgan said it had been "a real privilege" to help.

"It has been a demanding but truly worthwhile task and my soldiers have met the challenge with absolute commitment and pride in their role," he said.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption About 100 troops from the 4th Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland were brought in to help

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has also announced that GMFRS crews will be released from some parts of the Winter Hill blaze.

Firefighters from Greater Manchester have been aiding Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and other services from across the UK fighting the moorland fire.

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