Incident 35/2011

At 03:28 this morning, the team was paged by Lancashire Constabulary on behalf of Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service regarding assistance at the continuing large scale moorland fire in the North-Western part of the West Pennine Moors, largely comprising Anglezarke Moor.

Our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE liaised with his colleague Team Leader Phil O’Brien of Bowland Pennine MRT, regarding an appropriate response to this request for assistance. Bolton MRT deployed four Land Rover MR Ambulances to the incident with Bowland Pennine MRT placing two Land Rover MR Ambulances on immediate standby.

We commenced support operations with LFRS just after 06.00hrs this morning, involving our four deployed Land rover MR Ambulances, and team member Nick Berrys’ private 4WD vehicle. (Nick then departed for work)

Just shortly after midday today, with the arrival of BPMRT after their vehicles on standby had also now been requested by LFRS, all six vehicles from both Mountain Rescue Teams were deployed in a joint operation to assist a large number of LFRS resources in fire fighting operations around and within the Anglezarke Moor area.

Both teams provided full support to the fire fighting operations, centred around the use of our deployed Land Rover MR Ambulance Vehicles which provided an off road driving vehicle resource to the overall operation.

By mid afternoon, following a request for further MRT vehicle support, BPMRT deployed a third MR Land Rover to the operation and Bolton MRt committed a fifth MR Land Rover to assist.

All the MRT vehicles were utilised throughout the day, to ferry refreshments and food to Fire Sectors, alongside the A675, farms in the Roddlesworth and Belmont areas, the Belmont to Rivington Road, Manor House and Brinscall areas.

Our vehicles were also used to ferry fire crews back and forth along moorland tracks, take Fire Officers onto the many moorland tracks in the area to access and assess the various fire outbreaks, and transport equipment to various locations.

Water for fire fighting operations was also transported in a ferry operation by the MRT vehicles deployed, particularly in the Great Hill area and the Standing Stones Hill area of Anglezarke Moor.

With damping down operations still in place, and a considerable amount of fire fighting equipment left in place on the moors, and with all fire sectors under control, operations started to be scaled back for the evening, with another day of operations scheduled to commence at circa 05.00hrs to 06.00hrs the following day.

Bolton MRT resources were all withdrawn from the incident scene by 18.30hrs with BPMRT resources leaving shortly afterwards. (Both teams being scheduled to return tomorrow morning)

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service resources deployed today included a large number of pump appliances, a specialist all-terrain vehicle, and various support vehicles. A mobile fire control unit and the main fire/MRT RVP is located on Crookfield Road, off the A675, to the South of Abbey Village, in the Roddlesworth area of the West Pennine Moors.

The following MRT resources were utilised in todays operation;

  • Bolton MRT, five Land Rover MR Ambulance Vehicles, and sixteen Team Call Out list members, with one further member stood down responding.
  • Bowland Pennine MRT, three Land Rover MR ambulance Vehicles, and six Team call Out list members.
  • Lancashire Constabulary Air Support Unit Helicopter, ’Oscar November 99,’ which once again (Following its involvement on Saturday 30th April, during the early days of this fire) flew the Fire Incident Commander on a reconnaissance flight over the moorland fire areas, after first landing at the Crookfield Road Control / RVP to collect him.
  • United Utilities Ranger and Estate Staff members.
  • Salvation Army Mobile Catering Unit.