FIREFIGHTERS in Irlam are using ground breaking new ways to
tackle peat moss fires this summer and keep the local community
Typically peat fires are resource intensive, as fires can be
seated deep into the peat.
But now they've developed a wildfire fighting pack using
equipment which, for the first time, allows crews to penetrate
water deep into the peat to fully extinguish deep seated fires much
faster than usual.
The equipment is being trialled and was used when a fire engine
from Irlam was called to the peat on Astley Moss, off Liverpool
Road on Saturday, July 27.
Crew Manager Mark Simcox said: "There's more than 10 and-a-half
square miles of peat land on the edge of Irlam and Cadishead and
we've attended many fires there over the years.
"This year alone, fires on Irlam Moss have accounted for almost
8 per cent of all the incidents we've been called to from Irlam
Fire Station, sometimes tying up valuable resources for several
days at a time.
"Previously, we used hoses and beaters to put out the surface
fire but it was difficult to penetrate deep into the peat.
There was also the added issue of being remote and well away from
the nearest water supply."
The wildfire kit was developed using existing equipment and is
being trialled by crews in Irlam to avoid peat fires burning for
days at a time deep underground.
The kit includes a portable pump, a small diameter hose and an
adapted 750mm long lance for penetrating underground.
There is also a two metre long lance which can be connected to a
hose and can saturate large areas of peat deep underground,
extinguishing deep seated fires more quickly and efficiently.
Chair of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority,
Councillor David Acton said: "By adapting existing equipment and
using it in a different way, crews at Irlam are using a common
sense approach that will protect the remote and historic peat land
and the community through the dry season this summer.
"This pioneering trial at Irlam Community Fire Station will
protect more than 60 farms and private homes on the Moss and make
it easier for crews to get water to the deep and remote
"But our firefighters have also been working with local schools
to educate children and families about the risks of leaving rubbish
lying around on the Moss to try and avoid wildfires."
For more information on how to stay safe this summer and avoid
wildfires go to www.safe4summer.com