Blaze ‘will last until weekend’

Blaze ‘will last until weekend’

2 August 2006

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England, UK — A fire which has burned on moorland above Colne for more than a week is not expected to be extinguished until the weekend, it has emerged.

The blaze started on land in the Forest of Trawden by the Lancashire and Yorkshire border last Tuesday afternoon.

At its height, up to 100 firefighters from Lancashire and Yorkshire battled to bring the incident near the former Herders Inn, Lancashire Moor Road, under control.

But despite the soaring heatwave being replaced with heavy rainstorms and cool weather, fire chiefs said they expected to be at the scene for at least a couple more days.

Burnley fire station manager Dave Jackson, said the fire was continuing to burn underground in the soil.

He said: “The incident has been scaled down but it is anticipated we will be up there for at least a couple of days even if we get plenty of rain.

“It is not out, there are still small pockets burning.

“It is a very deep seated fire that has got in to the peat. It is a case of digging into it and filling it with water which the rain will not do.”

The fire has affected about two square miles of land and landowners dug a fire break a large ditch around the fire to stop the flames spreading further.

The road linking Lancashire with Haworth has been closed by the junction of School Lane since the fire started.

Because of its remote location fire crews have to be ferried to the scene by landowners using all terrain vehicles. Yesterday four crews were still at the scene of the fire.

Mr Jackson added: “We have been hampered by access so everything had to be transported by the farmers. To get the personnel up there is about a 40 minute round trip.

“It is an intensive logistical operation and it is arduous firefighting too. We are having to have a constant stream of firefighters replacing the ones at the scene all the time.”

Rosie Mather, assistant manager at Ponden Mill, near Haworth, said the road closure has affected trade. She said: “We were quiet last week, the fire had a huge impact on trade and with the road being closed people could not come from Lancashire.

“It has picked up a bit this week with the weather and people from the Colne area are phoning up to ask for directions through Keighley.”


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