Otherworldly wildfires blaze across Manchester moors

June 29, 2018, 10:56 a.m.
A full moon rises behind burning moorland as a large wildfire sweeps across the moors between Dovestones and Buckton Vale in Stalybridge, Greater Manchester, England.
Photo: Anthony Devlin/Getty Images

Heathcliff isn't the only thing racing across the moors.

Since June 24, wildfires have blazed across Saddleworth Moor, a hilly area that reaches up to 1,312 feet above sea level. CNN reports that the fire has destroyed 2,000 acres of moorland northeast of Manchester as of June 27. In the photo above, a full moon rises behind the burning moorland as the wildfire sweeps across the moors earlier this week in Stalybridge, Greater Manchester, England.

"This fire is particularly large. We've got lots of experience with dealing with moor fires, but this particular incident is vast," said Leon Parker, the assistant chief fire officer for the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS).

The GMFRS reports thats the fire is "unprecedented in recent times and has been devastating to the moorland and the wildlife that live there."

The wildfire stretches some 3.7 miles (6 kilometers) wide. The area is home to wading birds, ground-nesting birds and a small population of mountain hares.

The start of the fire has not been established. Britain has been in drought conditions for two months, along with a heat wave that has pushed temperatures to 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius), well above average for the region. Dry winds continue to fan the flames, and the conditions have allowed fires that appeared to be dying down to flame up again.

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