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UK News Desk

Saddleworth Moor fire: Crews tackle huge blaze

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Fire crews are tackling a huge blaze on Saddleworth Moor in West Yorkshire.

The fire started at about 19:30 GMT on Tuesday and covers about 1.5 sq km of land.

Laura Boocock, West Yorkshire Fire Service’s incident commander, said it was “one of the biggest moorland fires we’ve ever had to deal with”.

One witness described the blaze as “apocalyptic”. It comes as the UK broke the record for the warmest winter day for a second time.

Five crews and two specialist moorland firefighting units will remain at the scene overnight. There have been no reports of any injuries.

The A62 has been closed between Colne Valley and Diggle in both directions as a precaution.

BBC Yorkshire climate correspondent Paul Hudson said that, like much of the UK, the region had faced unseasonable winter temperatures.

He said: “These kind of temperatures – 18C or 19C – are what you would normally see in early June.

“There’s been a prolonged abnormally warm spell and we’ve also had an exceptionally dry start to 2019.

“The temperature on Wednesday is also set to be pretty similar.”

A large gorse fire broke out on Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh at a similar time on Tuesday evening, and two large fires started within an hour of each other in the Ashdown Forest in East Sussex earlier.

At the scene

By Ian White, BBC News, Saddleworth Moor

Speaking to one witness here, they said to me, “Imagine what the world would look like when it’s ending – this is what it would look like.”

You can see the glow for miles around, with flames leaping into the air.

People normally in bed have come out specially to witness this at first hand.

There’s a smell of smoke in the air, but it’s not too bad visibility wise.

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BBC News – UK

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