Drone footage reveals devastating impact of Longridge Fell wildfire

Drone footage of a raging wildfire on Longridge Fell shows its devastating impact on woodland and wildlife.

By Matthew Calderbank
Monday, 1st June 2020, 10:01 am
Updated Monday, 1st June 2020, 10:16 am

The shocking footage was taken by Lancashire Fire and Rescue Services' drone team as they assisted fire crews at the scene yesterday (May 31).

With 60 firefighters braving the burning forest below, the drone team provided a live aerial view which was relayed to Incident Command.

The footage was then used to warn crews on the ground who might be in danger of the swiftly moving fire.

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In the footage, larges swathes of forest appear to have been razed, revealing scorched pockets of land enveloped in black smoke.

As the drone manoeuvres hundreds of feet in the air, a number of hot spots with active fires can be seen breaking out in the dense forest.

The drone team has been praised by fire chiefs for providing a huge boost to the firefighting efforts on Longridge Fell.

Chief fire officer Justin Johnson said: "The drone provides the Incident Commander with great situational awareness to assess scale, spread, resource requirements and tactics.

Drone footage shows the extent of the wildfire which has gutted woodland on Longridge Fell at the weekend. Credit: LFRS

"Our drones are piloted by operational staff with great experience and expertise. Always making a difference."

The team has also been deployed to Darwen Moor where it helped fire crews locate pockets of fire not clearly visible on the ground.

LFRS Drone operator Chris Rainford tweeted: "Really busy day for @LFRS_DRONE today and pleased to say we made a real difference, especially up on Longridge Fell.

"The right tool for warning unseen crews on the ground that danger is on the way, as well as the usual situational awareness for IC (Incident Command)."

The drone has been deployed at both Darwen Moor and Longridge Fell