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Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service


146 Bolton Road

Swinton, Manchester

M27 8US

Tel: 0161 736 5866

For a FREE Safe and Well visit please call:

0800 555 815


Did you know Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service has firefighters who are specially trained to fight wildfires?

We have a statutory duty to protect the moorlands that surround the county so we have equipped our firefighters with new technology that enables us to put out fires quickly and safely.

Additionally, we have formed a Wildfires Advisory Group whose purpose includes raising awareness of the risks and dangers and identifying and sharing best practice in relation to wildfire incidents.

So, what is a wildfire?

A wildfire is determined by one or more of the following:

  • The size of the fire, it has to be as big as one Hectare or more
  • The fire requires four fire engines or more to fight the fire
  • The fire will take 6hrs or more to extinguish
  • The flames reach a minimum of 1.5 meters high
  • There is immediate danger to life and/or property

How do we tackle wildfires?

Our firefighters will use a number of techniques to control and extinguish the fire which includes our new Forced Air Firefighting Units (FAFU).

The leaf blower, or FAFU, is a new concept in firefighting and is used to control fires. In fact the idea isn’t really that new as evidence suggests that blowers were being used by the United States Forest Service as far back as the late 1960’s. It has both benefits and limitations so a good understanding of the units is needed before making a decision as to whether to use them at a wildfire.


The FAFU works in three ways:

  • The forced air cools the surrounding flammable gases so they won’t ignite
  • The air dilutes the gases
  • The speed of the air forces other flammable gases away

GMFRS has eight air units based at four dedicated Wildfire response stations that work really well on various types of moorland including long grass and heather.

How can we prevent wildfires?

It’s quite easy really. By following the countryside code you will stop wildfires from happening.

Follow the simple steps below:

  • Place all your litter in a bin or take it home with you
  • Ensure smoking materials are completely extinguished
  • Only use a barbecue or camp fire in a safe location and ensure it is completely extinguished after use

Fancy helping us?

Would you like to help GMFRS prevent wildfires? If you are interested in becoming a volunteer please visit our webpage here

Last update: 23/03/2016 08:19:46
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