For Lance Bass, this political climate shows why Pride is more important than ever

For Lance Bass, this political climate shows why Pride is more important than ever

Missed out on Pride month? These are the highlights of parade season Gay Star News took over London Pride pop-up shop and here’s what happened Skittles release funny, yummy clips to celebrate Pride month Lance Bass urges the LGBTI community to stay united during these challenging political times Former NSYNC member Lance Bass spoke to NBC THINK about why Pride is so important, especially in this day and age. The essay

In the essay, Bass discusses how Pride is a necessary part of resistance to the current political climate.

‘Surveys have begun to suggest that LGBT acceptance is actually going down instead of up for the first time in years, and we all know what the reason is: our political leaders. But a climate of increasing intolerance is dangerous; it absolutely has the potential to drive people back into the closet,’ Bass says.

Bass also talks about how his upbringing in small-town Mississippi led him to remain closeted for many years. Because of this experience, he sympathizes with the many LGBTI people who currently aren’t out due to fear.

‘Staying in the closet has a lot to do with the environment in which you live; people are usually scared to come out for a reason. All of us have our different stories, but I stayed in the closet because I’m from a small town in Mississippi where they’re very religious and I was told that being gay was just really wrong. Right now, with so many people getting on the hate bandwagon, it’s got to be a little scary for kids to be able to come out. Even in my life, I see fewer people coming out recently than in the last 15 years.’ Hateful politics

Bass goes on to point out the current political divides separating people in the United States.

‘Unfortunately, the political division has created this whole me-versus-you mentality now: Everyone’s chosen their team. It’s like football, when you choose your team, and you stick with that team. Even if you know that they’re the worst team ever, you’re still gonna say, “We’re number one.” I guess everyone wants to feel like they’re a part of something, part of a club; maybe that’s why everyone’s separating into these different groups.’

‘So many people are so depressed with what’s going on in the world, and they have every right to be afraid because it is a scary time,’ Bass continues.

‘It’s hard not to get so frustrated, and it’s hard not to want to snap back at people’s ignorance just to educate them. But it’s a fine line between educating someone and arguing with them, and so we all end up doing this little dance, trying to figure out what we can say that’s not going to upset the other person that they stop listening. We need them to hear us, though, so sometimes you have to calm yourself down just to make yourself sound reasonable to someone who may be struggling to understand you.’ Staying positive

Towards the end of the piece, Bass urges people to continue to speak up for what they believe in and remain united during this trying time.

‘We have to continue to speak up. And, as a community, we’re a very positive community: If you see any of our marches or parties, it’s all about love and positivity. The great thing about the LGBT community is that we’re very resilient. Even in the face of ignorance, we’re going to stay positive. And things will get better, of course — it always does. If you look at all of history, yes, there are times where there’s just horrible evil happening in the world, but it always gets to a better place. So we have to hang on, and keep resisting, and we’ll make it through it.’

‘Pride is an important part of that resistance: It’s a way to just keep reminding people that we’re here, we’re queer and to get used to it.’ Anything else about Lance Bass?

Bass also recently announced that he and his husband have found a surrogate for their first child.

I’m obsessed with Hayley Williams’ friendship with hair stylist Brian O’Connor

I'm obsessed with Hayley Williams' friendship with hair stylist Brian O'Connor

Missed out on Pride month? These are the highlights of parade season Gay Star News took over London Pride pop-up shop and here’s what happened Skittles release funny, yummy clips to celebrate Pride month Hayley Williams and Brian O’Connor. Photo by Jonathon Kingsbury It’s no secret that I’m practically in love with Paramore front-woman Hayley Williams. And though Pride Month may be over now, Hayley’s close bond with her hairstylist/business partner Brian O’Connor continues to be #friendshipgoals. Who is Brian?

Brian O’Connor is behind many of Hayley’s iconic looks, including the neon orange hair with crested bangs made famous by the hit song Misery Business. Hayley and Brian’s friendship

Three years ago, Hayley and Brian began making videos for the YouTube channel Popular TV called Kiss Off, where they’d give hair and makeup tutorials together. And over the last couple years, Hayley and Brian became business partners with the hair dye brand goodDYEyoung . The brand sells vegan, cruelty-free semi-permanent hair dyes in a variety of colors—many inspired by Hayley’s looks over the years. Pride Month

On 8 June, Hayley announced her admiration of Brian, who is openly gay, on Twitter: this is an easy one – @ColormeBrian we met by chance, bonded over a bottle of orange dye & a little more than decade later, we run @gooddyeyoung together. im so thankful for you B! you inspire me, endlessly. (I HAVE NOTHING IF I DONT HAVE U) #pridemonth https://t.co/KJ55cMDDAQ — hayley from Paramore (@yelyahwilliams) June 8, 2018 Throughout Pride Month, Brian provided Hayley with beautiful rainbow and glitter looks for her to rock onstage during Paramore’s summer tour. A post shared by Hayley from Paramore (@yelyahwilliams) on Jun 20, 2018 at 12:58pm PDT Basically, this kind of long-standing, collaborative, creative friendship is something I think everyone needs in their lives. Here’s to Hayley and Brian!

Panic! At The Disco’s Brendon Urie pledges $1million in support of LGBT youth

Panic! At The Disco’s Brendon Urie pledges $1million in support of LGBT youth

Brendon Urie pledges $1million in support of LGBT youth (Picture: WireImage) Panic! At The Disco’s front man Brendon Urie has pledged $1million (£75million) to help fund LGBT youth groups in American high schools.

Brendon has teamed up with GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) to help bring his project to life.

Talking about his decision to launch the campaign, the 31-year-old released a statement where he thanked his fans for inspiring him.

He said: ‘For years my fans have inspired me with their determination and creativity as they have created a safe and inclusive community.

‘I felt the time had come for me to join them boldly, to bring that energy and power to bear on the huge challenges facing our whole society.’ Brendon has teamed up with GLSEN to help bring his project to life (Picture: Getty Images) The singer is set to launch his own human rights organisation Highest Hopes, which will aim to ‘support communities subject to discrimination or abuse on the basis of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity.’

Here he will allocate $1 (75p) from each ticket bought for the band’s Pray For the Wicked Tour.

When announcing his new project, Brendon tweeted to his 2.79million followers: ‘All of you show me strength, courage + motivation & as a result it felt important to create something to show you that I see the wonderful things you’re doing out there in the world. With that being said, I want to join in on the fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.’ He’s also set to launch his own human rights organisation Highest Hopes (Picture: WireImage) He added: ‘Today I present to you the Highest Hopes Foundation, created to support the efforts of non-profit organizations that lead, develop, and advocate support for human rights.’

Before revealing to fans that if they buy a ticket a portion of their money will be going towards the cause.

He wrote: ‘To kick things off, we’ll be donating $1 from every U.S. ticket purchased for the #PrayForTheWickedTour to the Highest Hopes Foundation. Start spreading the love by texting GIVE to 50555 (sic)’

Watch: Gay Republican Confronts His Party Over Anti-LGBT Platform

Watch: Gay Republican Confronts His Party Over Anti-LGBT Platform

The Idaho Republican gave an impassioned speech that is getting attention in state newspapers. A gay Republican put up a fight over his party’s anti-LGBT platform but lost on Saturday.

Idaho newspapers reported in wonder about how Dom Gelsomino took the stage on Saturday at the party convention and demanded the delegates remove a plank about support for the “traditional” definition of marriage.

The Idaho Falls Post Register wrote first about the speech, "Young Conservative Throws Down Gauntlet on Gay Marriage." That was picked up by the Idaho Press-Tribune , which wrote, “Young Conservative Shakes Things Up at GOP Confab, But Anti-gay Marriage Planks Remain in Platform.” It’s since been picked up in the Bonner County Daily Bee , the Beaumont Enterprise , Idaho Statesman , and more. In other words, it’s big news.

Gelsomino — who has made runs for the state house and city council that both turned up short — argued that opposing same-sex marriage is a violation of conservative ideals of inclusion and less intrusion on personal lives. He held a Bible over his head and quoted scripture to make his case, even as delegates from the floor objected but were turned back.

“God loves all his children unconditionally,” he said. ”What gives government any authority to say otherwise?”

The fact that same-sex marriage is legal in Idaho and nationwide doesn’t stop Republican parties from proclaiming they’ll do everything they can to support traditional marriage. And in the end, the party added a single sentence to its proclamation that reads, according to the Associated Press, ”We recognize that the definition of marriage and its administration is not subject to federal authority and that Idaho is authorized to nullify any federal congressional act, federal mandate or court opinion that is contrary to traditional marriage."

Gelsomino told The Advocate he isn’t dispirited by having lost this time, saying “strength comes in numbers.”

“The number of people who showed support and encouragement afterward far outweighed the numbers that grumbled,” he said.

Gelsomino says that although the planks he debated were added to the platform, it was close. “I feel if the motion to divide had been made and the planks could’ve been debated separately from the overall platform report, it could’ve turned out differently. But the motion made after I spoke was to approve the platform as a whole, which succeeded.”

Gelsomino, who says he’d jump at another chance to run for state legislature if a seat became available in his district, isn’t giving up on his push to evolve the party from within.

“I believe that as we continue to speak out using professionalism, class, compassion, and tact,” he said, “we can inform and change hearts and minds in the future.”

Watch the entire speech. Must-Watch New Series

US ambassador to host surprise LGBT event

US ambassador to host surprise LGBT event

David Friedman, who is considered to harbor religious and conservative views, surprises LGBT leaders in Israel with invite to black tie ceremony at his private Herzliya residence to celebrate Pride Parades in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

The United States Ambassador to Israel David Friedman is expected to host a ceremony next Wednesday at his Herzliya residency honoring the LGBT community in Israel. The black tie event’s invitation says the ceremony will emphasize the Pride Parades in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The announcement comes as a surprise to the LGBT community since Friedman is considered to subscribe to a more religious outlook and is known to hold more conservative views. David Friedman (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky) The event is scheduled to take place just over a month after the Gay Pride Parade in Tel Aviv and around three weeks before the parade in Jerusalem in August.

Previous US ambassadors have also hosted similar ceremonies. However since Friedman took took office, the relationship between the two sides has cooled, according to sources in the LGBT community.

Last year a similar event was held outside the embassy and was attended by the representatives of the LGBT community and the ambassador’s deputy. Friedman’s attendance, therefore, was further welcomed by the community’s veterans. The official invitation to the event One senior LGBT member commented on the unexpected invitation. “During Barack Obama’s tenure, Gay Pride events had been conducted but a ceremony which celebrates Pride Marches, and especially the one in Jerusalem, is very good news for us,” he said. “Hosting an event like this before the Jerusalem Pride March is an important statement … We thank the ambassador for his openness and willingness,” concluded the senior member.

First published: 07.01.18, 20:54

Former moderator: Presbyterian theology ‘redo’ could address LGBT difficulties

Former moderator: Presbyterian theology ‘redo’ could address LGBT difficulties

Rev Dr John Dunlop said he had been ‘on a journey’ trying to understand the experience of LGBT people As Christians once had to “redo” the theology around the Earth’s position within the Universe, then perhaps similar thinking could be brought to bear on the same-sex relationships issue, a former Presbyterian moderator has said.

Rev Dr John Dunlop also said there are those within the church who suggest the Scriptures could be reinterpreted on the issue, in the way they were to acknowledge the injustice of slavery in the early 19th century.

Dr Dunlop was commenting in the wake of the Presbyterian general assembly’s decision to formally block people in same-sex relationships from becoming full members of the church.

He said there are many people within the Presbyterian Church who are “very happy with the decisions that have been made,” but said others, including the LGBT community and their families “have found this very unsettling”.

He said: “We have got this tension that we have to live with.

“All theology at the end of the day has to be pastoral theology. The church has a responsibility to explain why it has adopted this position.”

Dr Dunlop said he has been “on a journey” in trying to understand the experience of LGBT people and had to “listen very carefully,” to their viewpoint.

“Your theology has got to be done through the lens of the compassion of Jesus.

“I live inside the tension of being a part of the Presbyterian Church, and a faithful minister and member of the church, and at the same time having dialogue with LGBT people.”

As a guest on the BBC’s Sunday Sequence radio programme, Dr Dunlop was asked if he thought the current policy was the result of a “poor interpretation” of the Bible. He said it should always be interpreted using acquired wisdom.

“The Bible has got to be interpreted in light of our understanding of current situations, that is inevitable,” he said.

“Whenever [mathematician and astronomer] Copernicus came along, and Galileo said, that the Earth was not in fact the centre of the universe – that the Sun didn’t go around the Earth and that the Earth went around the Sun – and it looked as if the Bible was saying that, then you have got to redo your theology.

“People looked at the Scriptures for centuries and never saw anything wrong with slavery. William Wilberforce looked at the Scriptures and then looked at the historical experience of slave people, sets up a dialogue between the Scriptures and works the theology out.”

Asked if he was suggesting that, just as the church “came to terms with its false position on slavery,” it must stop discriminating against same-sex relationships, he said: “There are some people who say that. Internally within myself I struggle with that precise question. It would be lovely to be removed from the dilemma of having to deal with that.”

“Now, I wish it would all disappear, but it hasn’t disappeared and it won’t disappear.”

At the recent Presbyterian general assembly, delegates voted by 255-171 to cut formal ties with the Church of Scotland after the ‘mother church’ officially endorsed same-sex marriage – a decision described by one delegate as a “theological Brexit”.

Following that decision, a spokesman for the Presbyterian Church said the church is “trying constantly to respond biblically, theologically and pastorally to different situations in a changing world,” and added: “Members were not discussing whether to prevent anyone from attending worship, coming into church, receiving communion, or having access to pastoral care, as our church is open to all.”

A further report will now be commissioned which will provide practical guidelines for church elders on how the new policy should be implemented.

The former moderator added: “Perhaps that answer should have been more informed with pastoral theology and pastoral concern because it came across as if it was a very harsh judgment.

“There are then pastoral consequences which come out of this and the church has been, over the years, attempting to grapple with the pastoral implications of this. You have got to do the theology and pastoral work simultaneously.”

‘The police are afraid, not the people’: LGBT groups defy Istanbul pride ban – and face violence from authorities

‘The police are afraid, not the people’: LGBT groups defy Istanbul pride ban – and face violence from authorities

An LGBT rights activist carries a rainbow flag through a march in Istanbul on Sunday. Photo: AFP Gay rights groups and activists pressed ahead with the Istanbul Pride parade on Sunday despite Turkish authorities banning the event for a fourth year in a row, resulting in a sometimes violent response from police.

Around 1,000 people gathered near the city’s famous Istiklal Avenue and Taksim Square where organisers had wanted to originally hold the parade, while activists unfolded a rainbow flag and read out a statement amid heavy security.

But police then warned activists to disperse and used rubber bullets against some who tried to access Istiklal Avenue. Police officers with dogs walk in the streets of Istanbul on Sunday. Photo: AFP “People are not afraid, shopkeepers are not afraid. However, the governorship is afraid, the police are afraid,” one activist at the march said.

“They think that they can restrain freedom with the barricades they set up and the tear gas.”

Amnesty International in Turkey later said on Twitter that 11 people had been detained as it called on police to “immediately” release them. The human rights group also said tear gas had been used against some activists.

The Istanbul governorate told the organisers that officials “could not take steps to secure their safety and did not find it appropriate for the Pride Walk to take place”, according to a statement from Istanbul LGBT+ Pride Week on Facebook late Friday. LGBT rights activist shout slogans as they take part in a march on Sunday in Istanbul, after Turkish authorities banned the annual Gay Pride Parade for a fourth year in a row. Photo: AFP The Istanbul governor’s office issued no public statement about the event.

“The governor cited the excuse of security in its decision to ban the march and in one word, this is comical. Our marches went on peacefully without being banned for 13 years,” the organisers said in a press statement on Facebook hours before the march.

“We LGBTI+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex) are here with our pride despite all vain attempts to prevent us and we do not recognise this ban,” they added.

The annual rally is the most important LGBT event in a Muslim country in the region. A phalanx of police officers follow protesters on Sunday. Photo: AP The Ankara governorate on Thursday banned a screening of the 2014 film – about campaigners for same-sex rights in Britain – organised by the Communist LGBT group, saying such events could “incite hatred and enmity”.

The governor’s office added that there could be “danger to public safety”.

The capital’s governorate in November issued a ban on LGBT events but gay rights groups said they would take legal action against the order. A member of the LGBT community takes part in a Gay Pride parade in central Istanbul, Turkey, on Sunday. Photo: Reuters

London Pride told to be quiet for wedding in church that advocates LGBT celibacy

London Pride told to be quiet for wedding in church that advocates LGBT celibacy

London Pride attendees have been told to be quiet for an hour at the start of the route, in order not to disturb a wedding in a church that advocates homosexual celibacy.

According to Twitter, an instruction from Pride in London organisers has gone out stating that they’ve agreed to ‘restrict sound’ around Portland Place from 2-3pm.

Which happens to be the starting point for the Pride In London parade, a 26,500 person event that begins at midday. Apparently the gays have to be quiet for an hour DURING PRIDE while some people wed? pic.twitter.com/55L1qYWqlv — David Levesley (@DJFLevesley) June 30, 2018 No compatible source was found for this media. Pride attendees are understandably riled by the idea anyone has to be quiet during a celebratory display, especially right at the start of the parade.

There are no churches actually on Portland Place but All Soul’s Church, just outside the BBC’s Broadcasting House, is along the parade route. While same-sex marriage is permitted in Church of England churches, All Soul’s’ own website recommends ‘Walking With Gay Friends’ by Alex Tylee for reading on sexuality, a book in which the author concludes the only way to reconcile her homosexuality and Christianity is celibacy.

LGBT Twitter rightly identified it is unusual for an event to be told to keep quiet during its running time, saying “Would the Notting Hill carnival be expected to shut down become some people booked a wedding during it? Or the marathon should pause for an hour? It’s utterly ridiculous.” Would the Notting Hill carnival be expected to shut down because some people have booked a wedding during it? Or the Marathon should pause for an hour? It’s utterly ridiculous Another reply said “‘Can the London Marathon stop for an hour for my weekly Ocado delivery slot please?’ Just accept it is happening and make the most of it. Make it part of the day. It’s a celebration of love after all. Just don’t expect thousands of other people to change their plans.”

One commenter said asked “Ok, what if it was a gay wedding and straight people wouldn’t be quiet for it for just 1 hour?”

Astutely responded to with “As if straight people have ever been quiet for an hour about gay marriage.” As if straight people have ever been quiet for an hour about gay marriage — Rafaella Marcus (@rafaellamarcus) June 30, 2018 According to one reply on Twitter, the wedding was booked before the Pride date and route were fully confirmed, which is done very substantially in advance to the event.

“If I recall the 2nd Parade Briefing (which I attended) correctly: the wedding was booked before the date and route were confirmed by Pride. The couple has no issue with Pride and hasn’t specifically requested anything. We can be quiet for 10 minutes and be decent human beings.” If I recall the 2nd Parade Briefing (which I attended) correctly: The wedding was booked before the date and route were confirmed by Pride. The couple has no issue with Pride and hasn’t specifically requested anything. We can be quiet for 10 minutes and be decent human beings. One of the points of Pride, of course, is to encourage people to see LGBT people’s rights and desires as important and worthy of respect and not to advocate that celibacy is the only way to avoid eternal damnation for LGBT people.

Pride in London were strongly criticised this year for failing to involve black and ethnic minority groups , with the UK’s biggest LGBT charity Stonewall pulling out of organising in response to failures to address this, instead engaging with UK Black Pride. Pride in London also failed to involve any bisexual groups in last year’s parade.

Many other Pride attendees poked fun at the request, stating they would bring vuvuzelas or trumpets, with one commenter saying “Only if they’re paying for an open bar for everyone afterwards ” Only if they’re paying for an open bar for everyone afterwards https://t.co/iZlju4i3bJ

Istanbul Pride goes ahead despite ban, police violence

Istanbul Pride goes ahead despite ban, police violence

Despite being banned by the authorities and threats to arrest anyone “looking gay,” Istanbul Pride went ahead with a party of love and celebration before being broken up by police. “We are here this year, as we are every year.”

Istanbul’s Pride parade has been banned four four consecutive years, despite homosexuality not being illegal in Turkey. Each year, organisers and participants have proceeded anyway, despite threats and arrests.

Yesterday, in a message posted to the Istanbul Pride Facebook page , the organisers said that again the event would happen, despite opposition.

“This march is organized in order to fight against the violence and discrimination fuelled by that governorship decision.

“We would like to inform the press and the public that we will go ahead with our prideful march with the same ambition as we had before.”

Amnesty International joined calls against the ban, asking for pressure on the governor of Istanbul about the brutal treatment of LGBT people at the event, specifically the use of high-pressure water cannons:

Today, the event went ahead, with the parade taking to the streets of Istanbul, despite reports that police were threatening to arrest “anyone that “looks gay, wears rainbows or bright feminine colors, or has on too short of shorts.” The pride parade hasn’t started yet, but the police seem prepared to funnel people straight into paddy wagons once it does. Apparently the police will arrest anyone that “looks gay, wears rainbows or bright feminine colors, or has on too short of shorts.” #IstanbulPride pic.twitter.com/LqFMVdU7tK Despite this, the parade went ahead with thousands taking to the streets of Istanbul in celebration.

Police harassed and arrested Pride marchers through the streets but organisers were determined to reach Taksim square, in order to read a press release about the event.

Istanbul Pride tweeted “Despite all the police intervention, we are reading our press release on the streets of Taksim. We’re still here!” Bütün polis müdahelelerine rağmen Taksim sokaklarında basın açıklamamızı okuyoruz. Alışın hala buradayız! #OnurYürüyüşü The press release, in Turkish, decried police and state brutality against Istanbul Pride and affirmed that the parade would continue regardless.

“These walks have become more and more difficult every year, and since we’ve been faced with hate, we’ve been able to keep ourselves safe for the lgbti+ and to open up our voices. Unlike these peaceful provocations, the state’s hate crimes have become visibly visible to police brutality.

We are here this year, as we are every year.” (Image: Istanbul Pride Facebook) It went on to say that the LGBT community would not be divided or lessened by the violence and that Istanbul Pride would never give up on reaching and celebrating in Taksim.

“Today, with honor and respect, we ridicule those who are trying to draw boundaries around us.
We call on all of you to make fun of our identities, our weaknesses, our bodies, our bodies, our language, our desires, and everything that makes us who we are.

“We are expanding our own movement and expanding our borders. We will expand limitlessly into the streets. You’re going to have to lock us up first, then you’re going to try to turn us away from our own people, and we’re not giving up on Taksim. [Square]”

Winter Hill fire could last for ‘another week’, police say

Winter Hill fire could last for 'another week', police say

Crews continue to tackle a major moorland blaze, which started on Thursday. A large wildfire on Lancashire moorland may burn for another week, police fear.

Up to 100 firefighters from across England are tackling the blaze on Winter Hill near Bolton in "testing conditions".

A major incident was declared when winds caused two fires to merge near communication masts on Saturday.

The flames have spread close to Grade II-listed Rivington Terraced Gardens, which had received £3.4m of lottery funding two years ago for improvements.

The Winter Hill blaze , near a major TV transmitter, is smouldering in pockets across a 3 sq miles (8 sq km) area.

A 22-year-old man, from Bolton, was arrested on Friday on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life. Firefighters have been drafted from across England Crews from across the country have also joined firefighters and the Army combat a blaze 30 miles away at Saddleworth Moor in Greater Manchester, which started a week ago.

Along with the Winter Hill fire, it has covered the region in smoke and ash. People in nearby areas have been asked to keep doors and windows closed.

Police have also repeated their advice that people stay away after a man collapsed from smoke inhalation when he ignored police cordon tape.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service appealed for people not to fly drones over the scene.

The service also tweeted this picture of how firefighters are helping to protect wildlife. Report Rivington Terraced Gardens, set up by one of the founders of the Lever Brothers multinational firm, will remain shut on Monday because of the fire.

Andrew Suter, from Rivington Heritage Trust, said: "While there are bigger concerns with life and other loss elsewhere, we are desperately trying to make sure the fire doesn’t reach the garden."

On Facebook, the organisation criticised some members of the public who were reportedly seen taking selfies near the fire. How common are moorland fires in the UK?

The current moorland fires are relatively unusual, says Alastair Lewis, professor at the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, but they could become more frequent because of climate change.

Guillermo Rein, professor of fire science at Imperial College London, said a population increase and the growth of development on the fringe of urban areas has also contributed.

He says the link between fires and climate change is even stronger in northern Europe. While small fires can be beneficial to moorlands, large and intense fires damage ecosystems, he added.

The Met Office says nearly all moorland fires in the UK are started by people – such as from campfires or discarded cigarettes and glass – whereas lightning strikes are frequently the cause in other parts of the world.

The UK’s peaty moorlands are massive carbon reservoirs, which become tinder-boxes during prolonged dry spells, says Nick Ostle from Lancaster Environment Centre.

Source: Science Media Centre

Lancashire assistant chief fire officer Dave Russell said: "Moorland firefighting is very demanding – the firefighters are dealing with undulating terrain, different types of vegetation but also the logistics of deploying resources onto the moorland present us with a number of challenges.

"My concern primarily yesterday was that, on the top of Winter Hill, there are a number of radio telecommunication systems, which are essentially part of critical national infrastructure." The Winter Hill blaze started on Thursday Arson arrest over Winter Hill moor fire

Fire-ravaged moors community rallies round

What the moorland fire means for wildlife

Trenches have been dug to prevent the fire spreading, including one around a house that was evacuated, while a helicopter has been dropping water to help douse the flames. A family had to leave their home after a major moorland blaze Met Office forecaster Helen Roberts said there was no significant rain forecast in the area this week.

She added that "winds are likely to pick up overnight", which could worsen the fire. At the scene

Dave Guest, BBC News Residents have been told to keep windows shut The terrain is difficult, the ground is tinder-dry and fire crews are being hampered by strong winds, which have continually whipped up the flames.

The problem with peat fires, as we discovered on Saddleworth Moor last week, is they can often burn underground for quite some time and then pop up in different areas.

The firefighters say a number of sightseers have been coming up here – ignoring road closures to try to get a closer look – and are being warned it was very dangerous.

There are about 200 firefighters on the moors, split over seven areas of wildfire at Saddleworth and Winter Hill.

About 100 soldiers from the Royal Regiment of Scotland were sent from their Yorkshire barracks on Thursday to aid firefighters in Saddleworth for an initial 48-hour deployment.

Their presence has been extended until Monday afternoon following a request by Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham. Soldiers have been drafted in to tackle the Saddleworth fire Have you been affected by the moorland fires? If it’s safe to do so, you can share your experience by emailing .

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