Firefighters from Lancashire and beyond continue to fight a large wildfire on Winter Hill near Bolton.
Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service supported by Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and resources from around the country continues to fight what began as two separate fires on either side of Winter Hill. Increased wind speed over the weekend caused the two fires merge.
Chris Kenny, Chief Fire Officer at Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We are working with colleagues in the emergency services, local authorities, public health and other partners to respond to this major incident jointly.”
“There are 15 fire engines plus specialist appliances currently at the site along with specialist wildfire fighting teams, helicopters, drones and mountain rescue units. These resources are continuing to protect the public and the vital infrastructure on top of Winter Hill.”
“The fire is contained however the nature of moorland fires combined with the weather we are experiencing means that while we extinguish flames on the surface, peat underground continues to burn. We’re using water on land and from the air to douse areas that continue to smoulder below the ground.”
“We are urging members of the public to stay away from the Winter Hill area for their own safety and the safety of responders. People travelling to the scene, blocking access roads for emergency vehicles and flying drones hamper our response and compromise safety.”
“Unfortunately we are also attending a number of wildfires in other areas of the county. My plea to residents and visitors when outdoors is that they take great care to prevent fires, particularly as this heat wave continues.”
“The support from the public has been absolutely overwhelming. We’ve received enough donations to supply our crews for the foreseeable future and I’d like to thank everyone who visited our training centre in Chorley to drop off supplies.”
“I’d also like to thank all those involved in this incident from Lancashire and beyond for their tireless work to protect the local community in extremely challenging conditions.”
Residents in areas affected by smoke are advised to stay indoors, keep doors and windows closed and tune in to the local radio station and follow social media for advice and information.
Motorists who have to travel through the smoke should keep windows closed and switch air conditioning systems to recycle or recirculate to prevent drawing in outside air. If people need to be outdoors, they are advised to avoid areas affected by any smoke or ash, or to limit the time that they spend in them.
You can stay up-to-date with the incident online and via Twitter and Facebook.
As firefighters respond to the moorland fire on Winter Hill, be reassured that more are there in readiness 24/7 to deal with other emergencies when required. Help them by taking care when outdoors to prevent any further wildfires:
How to prevent
- Don’t discard cigarettes or matches whilst walking or driving through the countryside
- Don’t have BBQs in unauthorised areas and make sure it is cold before it is disposed of correctly
- Never leave a BBQ unattended
- Don’t start campfires in the countryside
- Don’t discard rubbish – litter such as reflective cans and glass can start fires
- If you live close to woodland or heathland do not burn off garden rubbish during hot weather
- Report any evidence of illegal firesetting activity
What to do if you discover a fire
- If you need to move to a safe place and call the fire service on 999 immediately, provide as much detail as you can – size of fire, location and terrain
- Don’t tackle the fire
- If you haven’t already, self evacuate the area as soon as possible – these fires can spread fast
There’s more advice here.