AS YORKSHIRE basks in an unaccustomed tropical-like heatwave, the soaring temperatures are no consolation to those firefighters, now ably assisted by soldiers from Catterick Garrison and a water-carrying Chinook helicopter, tackling the blazes that have broken out on Saddleworth Moor.
It’s a thankless task made even harder by the area’s geography and geology as flammable peatland became a tinderbox.
Yet it’s also a reminder of the important role that members of the Armed Forces do perform when there are civil emergencies. Not only do they provide manpower and heavy lifting expertise so firefighting equipment can, in this instance, reach the most remote moorland, but their physical presence reassures the public. Assistance very gratefully received by firefighters, and all those who live in close proximity to the fire, it can only be hoped that the Ministry of Defence recognise this public service when officials go in to battle over budgets.