British Army Joins Firefighters in Grassland Fire

Fires cover a 7-square mile area



LONDON (AP) — Britain’s military are joining exhausted firefighters to tackle wildfires in dry grassy hills in northwest England that may last for weeks.

Over 100 firefighters have been working rolling 12-hour shifts to tackle fires in six pockets across 7-square miles (18-square kilometers) of Saddleworth Moor, on the outskirts of Greater Manchester.

A Royal Air Force Chinook helicopter is also on stand-by to airlift heavy equipment to the high ground.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Tony Hunter says what’s needed most to end the blaze was rain. None is forecast however, and temperatures could reach 30 degrees Celsuis (86 Degrees Fahrenheit) Thursday.

Fire officials describe the blaze as the worst moorland fire in living memory to hit Saddleworth, a vast tract of barren land on hills straddling Greater Manchester, Yorkshire and Derbyshire.

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