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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 July 2006, 06:59 GMT 07:59 UK
Rain helps put out moorland fire
Fire above Stalybridge - pic courtesy of Chris Barcroft
More than 50 firefighters have been tackling the blaze
Rain has helped to quell a major fire burning on moorland on the border of Greater Manchester and Derbyshire.

More than 50 firefighters spent Wednesday tackling the blaze on land above Stalybridge, Greater Manchester, but had to withdraw when darkness fell.

The operation was resumed at first light on Thursday when it was discovered that overnight rain had helped to quell the blaze.

Firefighters are still in attendance, but as a precautionary measure.

A spokeswoman for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said: "The fire is dying out very slowly due to the rain we had overnight and in the early hours of the morning but there is still a lot of smoke about."

The service teamed up with Derbyshire Fire Service, countryside rangers and United Utilities to help bring the fire under control.

At the height of the blaze - which took hold on Wednesday lunchtime - smoke was seen drifting for miles and a change in wind direction caused it to spread across further areas of parched land.

However, the fire was not near any property, and was thought to be about one mile away from the nearest road.

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