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Wildfire training on remote uplands

A multi-agency wildfire training exercise in north Northumberland.
A multi-agency wildfire training exercise in north Northumberland.

Fire and rescue services from both sides of the border have taken part in a multi-agency exercise on how to tackle and manage remote wildfires.

Named Exercise Pennine Way, the training exercise involved a fictional wildfire moving along the Pennine Way/Border Ridge.

The movement of the fire was simulated by the use of flags to mark the fire’s spread on the ground.

The exercise involved Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, College Valley Estates, Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team, North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team and Border Search and Rescue Team.

It was designed to test work between the fire services and partner agencies, communications between control rooms, incident support on the ground and operational crews and partner agencies along with map reading and navigational skills.

Partner agencies will now produce a report to evaluate the exercise and include recommendations for further improving response to wildfires in remote areas.

Paul Hedley, chief fire officer in Northumberland, said: “Exercises such as these are imperative to continually train our personnel and maintain our skills in these types of incidents.”

Stephen Crees, estate manager at College Valley Estates, said: “It was a privilege and a pleasure for College Valley Estates to host this important wildfire exercise. It has been a great experience for us to work together with so many partner agencies on both sides of the border.”