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We are appealing for information regarding fires on land near Dovestones last weekend, which are believed to have been deliberately.
The fires, between Sunday 10 and Tuesday 12 July 2022, were on land near to the car park.
A joint investigation with colleagues from GMFRS has, so far, established that there were five seats of fire. Traces of accelerant was found at three of the seats.
Superintendent Phillip Hutchinson, of GMP Oldham district, said: “Enquiries are ongoing to identify those responsible for starting these fires which could have had a devastating impact on the land, the wildlife and residents who live in the surrounding area. I ask anyone with information to share it with us as soon as possible.
“Maintaining safety at Saddleworth Moor is of great importance to both ourselves and our partner agencies. Only days before this fire, we attended an event during which we spoke with members of the public about how to use the area in the summer. Unfortunately, during this event, our officers sighted persons posing a risk so three fixed penalty notices were issued.
“I would like to use this opportunity to remind members of the public that there is a Public Space Protection Order in place at Saddleworth Moor – meaning it is a criminal offence to start fires in the area, including BBQs. A breach of the order can result in a £1000 fine.
“I ask members of the public who frequent in the area and residents who live surrounding it to report anyone they suspect of planning and illegal BBQ or committing any other crime.”
Jim Wilmott, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service Group Manager at Bury, Oldham and Rochdale, said: “We have seen just how devastating and damaging wildfires can be, especially in Saddleworth, in recent times.
“It’s difficult to understand why anyone would want to deliberately start a fire in moorlands, but sadly it does happen and when conditions are this dry, they grow quickly and easily out of control. For those who do think this is a good idea, you should know that not only does it destroy precious moorland, but it also puts local wildlife and people at danger, causing huge disruption and means our resources are often unable to attend other serious incidents.
“The evidence suggests that a fires at Dove Stone in Saddleworth were deliberately started. I urge people to contact Greater Manchester Police with any information you have about this so those responsible can be rightly punished. Our message is strong and clear - never have a barbecue or campfire in the countryside or start a fire deliberately. It’s selfish and dangerous.”
Anyone with information should contact us via our LiveChat facility or by calling 101.
Information can also be shared anonymously via the independent charity – Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.