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Firefighters battling the Saddleworth Moor fire for a fifth day were joined by reinforcements form the Armed Forces this morning .

The first soldiers were spotted on the scene at just after 5am and more are expected to arrive in the coming hours.

In total around 100 soldiers from the 4th Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland will join the fight.

An RAF Chinook helicopter, from RAF Odiham in Hampshire, has been placed on stand-by in case it is needed to transport high-volume pump equipment to remote and hard-to-reach areas of the fire.

Tony Hunter, of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, said although the fire was now only 'smouldering away', it covered seven square miles and had the potential to reignite miles of 'unburnt fuel' should the wind change direction.

He warned: "We need to keep on top of it."

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Key Events

Saddleworth Moor fire 'unlikely' to spread to West Yorkshire

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue say the fire on Saddleworth Moor is unlikley to spread across the county border.

Based on the prevailing conditions it would be unlikely that the fire would spread to affect any of West Yorkshire, however, the moorland in Greater Manchester and the moorland in West Yorkshire have been subject to the same very dry conditions for several weeks and therefore, the risk of a fire starting this side of the Pennines is a very real one. People out on the moorland need to be very careful in terms of not increasing the fire risk.

A helicopter's route in photos

Helicopters are being used to collect water from nearby reservoirs before dropping their loads on the Saddleworth Moor fire.

Map shows scale of fire

This map shows exactly which seven square miles of moorland is currently on fire. It’s a monumental task for firefighters and the army.

... and delivering it to firefighters

Once the helicopter has collected gallons of reservoir water, it drops it in containers for firefighters to use in their attempts to control the raging moorland blaze.

Helicopter fetching water from reservoir...

United Utilities are ferrying water from a nearby reservoir to bring to firefighters on Saddleworth Moor.

West Yorkshire crews assisting

Specialist wildfire units from Holmfirth, Todmorden and Keighley fire stations are helping Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service at Chew Reservoir today.

Full press conference by Fire and Army

Press conference with GMFRS Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Tony Hunter and RAF Wing Commander, Gary Lane, spoke to the press a little earlier to provide an update on the fight to control the fire.

Tony Hunter said the fire covered seven square miles and was burning in six different locations.

An RAF Chinook helicopter is on standby should it be needed to transport heavy pumping equipment to remote locations.

Fire could last 'days if not weeks'

Firefighters have wanred the blaze could last for days or weeks.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, Tony Hunter, admitted they needed a helping hand from the weather in the form of a downpour.

He said: “We have not seen any indication of any rain coming within the next couple of days or weeks so we can see this being prolonged for days if not weeks particularly because of the fact the wind has drawn fires towards the residential (areas) and actually away from the centre of the moors.”

“We only need a change in wind direction to then see that fire increasing to where the greater fuel source is so we could see a drastic change so that’s why having the resources on scene immediately ready and the armed services is extremely important.”

And he’s right, the forecast is not looking favourable...

Photos of Armed Forces arriving

Army has arrived

Around 100 troops from 4th Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland have just arrived on Saddleworth Moor to assist firefighters.