A fifth of Greater Manchester’s fire engines have been deployed to fight a bout of fires in our region which are suspected of having been caused by human activity.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time that the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service has had to devote a significant proportion of its fire engines and crews to fights fire that have been caused by selfish and ignorant people.
The current geographically limited, toothless by-laws and public orders are not stopping the fires, which is why I back the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, in his call for new legislation to make the use of barbecues on open moorland a criminal offence, accompanied by severe penalties for people who cause moorland fires.
I have written to the Minister responsible for fire services, Stephen Greenhalgh, and raised this issue with him. You can see a copy of this letter below.
We need to make it clear how damaging these fires are, and part of that is being tough on the people who cause them.