It’s uncannily quiet here at Roachside just at the moment. The rumble of the fire tenders and emergency water tankers passing every few minutes through the last couple of days has stopped. There is no helicopter buzzing back and forth with water bag trailing beneath it and there are no cars parked along the road here, no visitors to The Roaches this weekend.
Where the ice cream van normally sells refreshment to thirsty walkers, there are a couple of fire engines parked and locked-up, their crews out on foot with beating poles and spades following the snow-tractor along the still smouldering edge of the moorland fire.
The view down from the trig point this morning, towards Shawside, was like looking into some post-apocalyptic battlefield, shrouded in smoke. The woodland above The Five Clouds is still burning – albeit now controlled and contained.
All of this is waiting for a decent downpour of rain. Man’s efforts, valiant as each fire fighter may be, impressive though the deployment of clever equipment is in controlling fire, are truly feeble in comparison to what a change in the weather can do.
Just as the hot, dry weather has much magnified the stupidity of a single person in creating such destruction.
Our sincere thanks go to the Firefighters of Staffordshire, Cheshire and Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Services who have worked so well together to control and contain this blaze.
Thursday lunchtime and the fire has taken hold in the woods behind Roachside