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Winter Hill fire declared a major incident

Posted on - 30th June, 2018 - 4:15pm | Author - | Posted in - Preston News
The pall of smoke as seen from Grimsargh coming from Winter Hill fire Pic: Stephen Melling
The pall of smoke as seen from Grimsargh coming from Winter Hill fire Pic: Stephen Melling

Moorland burning on Winter Hill ‘could burn for days’ and has been declared as a major incident by emergency services.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service had temporarily withdrawn from trying to fight the fire as it begins to merge with the fire at Scout Road in Bolton.

They and Manchester Fire and Rescue Service are back up on the moors now, while drones and helicopter water strikes continue to try to douse the flames.

The fire, which began on Thursday (28 June) afternoon, has been burning since and is spread over more than eight square kilometres of moorland.

On Friday morning it appeared to be coming under control but as temperatures rose it reignited during the Friday afternoon.

Read more: Watch what firefighters have faced on Winter Hill

The lines of fire can be clearly seen from the M61 motorway near Bolton Pic: Chris Hough
The lines of fire can be clearly seen from the M61 motorway near Bolton Pic: Chris Hough

A number of rural roads around the Rivington area have been shut off by emergency services. They are:
– Scout Road
– Belmont Road
– Smithills Dean Road
– Longshore Ford Road
– Walker Fold Road at the junction with Chorley Old Road
– Georges Lane at the junction with Matchmoor Lane
– Marklands Road at the junction with Georges Lane
– Old Rake at the junction with Georges Lane
– Belmont Road at the junction with Rivington Terraced Gardens

Lancashire Police on Friday (29 June) said a 22-year-old Bolton man had been arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life. He has now been released under investigation.

The fire service’s area manager Tony Cook said ‘Sector 1’ which is where Winter Hill TV mast is has been why it’s been declared a major incident. He said the mast is ‘strategic infrastructure’.

More than 100 firefighters are currently tackling the fire and households near the fire are being advised to keep their windows and doors closed due to the smoke.

Across Preston and South Ribble people have reported being able to see the smoke plume and also particularly across South Ribble the smell of burning in the air.

How you can help firefighters

The main thing the public are being asked to do is to stay away from Rivington. Lancashire Police say the operating has been hampered by people going up to the moors.

Anyone wanting to donate supplies such as bottled water, isotonic drinks and packaged food can do so by taking them to the Lancashire Fire and Rescue training centre in Southport Road, Euxton, PR7 6DH.

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