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Latest on Winter Hill fire as police warn public not to enter area

Posted on - 5th July, 2018 - 11:12am | Author - | Posted in - Preston News, Uncategorized
Latest shots from Winter Hill. Credit: Benjamin Wareing

Lancashire Fire & Rescue has issued a fresh warning to the public as the Winter Hill fire continues.

Fire crews are expected to be at the scene for several days and have warned that they cannot physically man a cordon of the size of the one in place.

They say it will hinder their operation if people encroach and then end up need rescuing

One helicopter will be assisting fire crews, down from two in previous days, and is capable of dropping 1600 litres of water at a time.

More than 80 firefighters remain at the scene using at least 15 pumps.

The cordon at Winter Hill

Plumes of smoke were first seen from the hill on Thursday (28 June) afternoon, and it was recorded as a major incident.

Chief Fire Officer at Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, Chris Kenny, said: “We are working with colleagues in the emergency services, local authorities, public health and other partners to respond to this major incident jointly.

“The resources are continuing to protect the public and the vital infrastructure on top of Winter Hill.

More: What it’s like on the front line at 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.”

Latest shots from Winter Hill. Credit: Benjamin Wareing

A number of small moorland fires have also been started by people near to Winter Hill and emergency services are urging people to stay away.

Kenny continued: “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.”

Latest shots from Winter Hill. Credit: Benjamin Wareing

Members of the public have been supporting officers by donating good including food and drink.

Kenny said: “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.”

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