Moorland Fire update

Press Release: 27/06/2018

As fire crews and other organisations continue to contain the Tameside moorland fires and with the weather forecast to
remain as it is for the next 6-7 days. We would just like to update you on some of the key messages of advice.
If you would like to keep up to date with the incident and how firefighting efforts are progressing you can follow @manchesterfire
for regular updates or visit www.manchesterfire.gov.uk


Air quality monitoring results (Monday 2 July) is currently showing that pollution levels remain elevated in your area but are
Levels of air pollution are based on averages and levels do fluctuate due to the weather conditions and activity at the scene
with results showing higher readings overnight with a drop around 9am and another peak at midday. The public health
advice is therefore as per below.
Considering the fluctuations in air quality and with the current hot weather, It is worth noting the following point in PHE’s
advice as well as the other ways to keep yourselves and your house cool.
  • When the smoke has moved away and is no longer visible, think about opening doors and windows to allow the house to cool down. If the direction of the wind changes and smoke returns to the area, remember to return inside and shut windows and doors again until the smoke has visibly cleared.
School being closed is not an indication that homes need to be evacuated in the area. Decisions to close schools has been due to either technical issues or issues in providing suitable shelter from the smoke for staff and pupils during very hot weather – schools do not have the same permissions and flexibility as residents do in their own homes to spend time away from the building. Head teachers, Tameside Council and partner agencies have been working hard to ensure that schools can re-open and stay open with the installation of air cooling units and fans on Tuesday 3 July.
If there is a need for homes to be evacuated they will be informed directly and we have staff and emergency accommodation on standby should the need arise.


Residents in areas affected by smoke should stay indoors, keep their windows and doors closed, and tune in to the local radio station for advice and information. When the smoke has moved away and is no longer visible, think about opening doors and windows to allow the house to cool down. If the direction of the wind changes and smoke returns to the area, remember to return inside and shut windows and doors again until the smoke has visibly cleared.
Motorists who have to travel through the smoke should keep windows closed and switch air conditioning systems to recycle or recirculate air. If people need to be outdoors, they are advised to avoid areas affected by any smoke or ash, or to limit the time that they spend in them.
Smoke can irritate air passages, the skin and the eyes leading to coughing and wheezing, breathlessness and chest pain. It can also worsen existing problems such as asthma and people with asthma should carry their inhaler with them at all times.
Anyone concerned about their symptoms should contact their GP or NHS 111.
We appreciate the hot weather is having a combined effect and also recommend that people in affected areas:
  • draw curtains to limit direct sunlight heating-up internal surfaces in the home
  • wear lighter clothing
  • keep hydrated with cool drinks
  • cool your skin with water, for example by using cool showers
  • limit activities that might contribute to emissions within the home such as cooking
  • set any air conditioning to recirculate mode
  • limit the time you spend outdoors and avoid strenuous physical activity


Though not directly related to the fire, we are in a sustained period of hot weather and so we are asking residents to follow the below advice from United Utilities:
“The hot weather means we’re seeing a massive increase in water consumption across our area. Yesterday an additional half a billion litres was used and it has been the same today. We urgently need your help and support to avoid a hosepipe ban.
You can help us by turning off your garden sprinklers, not using your hosepipes and taking shorter showers and not baths.
The demand is so high, particularly during peak times, that we are struggling to get enough water around the
system quick enough. If we can all do our bit this will reduce the risk of lower water pressure or no water at all. Thank you, we really appreciate your help.”


There has been a number of requests for facemasks and you may have seen image in the press or on social media of people wearing them. The Council is not supplying face masks as we follow Public Health England advice which is as follows:
  • The most effective way to protect yourself from the effects of smoke is to stay indoors with the windows and doors shut while the smoke is clearly visible. Due to the current weather, consider ways to keep you and your home cool (as above).
The use of face masks such as surgical masks are not recommended for the public as they do not protect against all the particulates and gases that may be present in the smoke.
  • Wearing a face mask may also encourage unnecessary exposure to the smoke as you may feel a false sense of protection and be tempted to spend longer in the smoke.


Exposure to poor levels of air quality as a result of the fire, are unlikely to pose any long-term risks to health. Any long-term risk to health from air pollution will be based upon lifetime exposure.


Public Health England would not expect there to be a significant risk from short-term contact with ash and soot. Because of its size it is unlikely that it could be inhaled if disturbed and so would be unlikely to cause any respiratory symptoms. It can safely be washed off cars and outdoor furniture.


Everyone in the community has been so supportive of all the organisations involved in tackling the fire and surrounding issues. We would like to thank you for all your kind donations to date to all crews and please ask that all donations are directed to Stalybridge Community Fire Station, Rassbottom Street, Stalybridge, SK15 1RF, from where they will be distributed to crews in various locations.
Please only send NON PERISHABLE items as limited refrigeration and we need to avoid food safety issues amongst crews.
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