Army drafted in to help tackle blaze on moors between Sheffield and Manchester

Saddleworth Moor
Saddleworth Moor

About 100 soldiers and an RAF Chinook helicopter have been drafted in to help tackle a blaze on the moors between Sheffield and Manchester.

The troops from the 4th Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland, were sent to Saddleworth Moor, Greater Manchester, overnight, to join firefighters in the battle to stop the moorland blaze spreading.

READ MORE: Man dies after being found collapsed in Sheffield road
Some 55 firefighters were still trying to quell multiple pockets of flames spanning up to 3.7 miles last night.

CRIME: Reports of another stabbing on the streets of Sheffield
The soldiers, based at Catterick, will operate out of an Army training centre to help control the fire by fire beating and managing water lines.

DEATH: Man dies after being found collapsed in Sheffield road
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said it is a display of British troops protecting the UK 'no matter the time, no matter the place, and no matter the problem'.

The troops answered a call for assistance from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service.

The Chinook, which will fly out of RAF Odiham, Hampshire, this morning, will move high-volume pump equipment by air to help douse the flames in difficult to access areas.

Dave Keelan, director of emergency response at GMFRS, has also suggested it could be used to transport firefighters.

He said firefighters were working 'extremely hard in really hot conditions' but morale was high, adding: "It's more of a task to get them down here to rest."

As of yesterday lunchtime there were seven separate fires on the moorland.

The blaze had been brought under control after it started on Sunday, but it reignited the next day.

The impact could even be seen from space as Nasa satellites picked up the plumes of smoke.

Around 100 homes have been evacuated.

The cause of the original seat of the fire has not been established but fire chiefs said a detailed investigation would be launched at the appropriate time.

One possible line of inquiry could focus on the frequent gathering of off-road bikers - many not displaying registered plates - at a nearby large quarry.