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Police warn public to stay away from Winter Hill fire

Posted on - 1st July, 2018 - 8:25pm | Author - | Posted in - Crime, Preston News
Firefighters beating the peat to try and put out the blaze Pic: Benjamin Wareing/Blog Preston
Firefighters beating the peat to try and put out the blaze Pic: Benjamin Wareing/Blog Preston

‘Fire tourists’ are being urged to keep back from the Winter Hill moorland fire.

Still classed as a major incident there’s more than 100 firefighters still battling the flames at Rivington and at Scout Road, Bolton, where the two moorland fires have joined.

Lancashire Police have issued a warning to the public to stay away from the area.

During Sunday (1 July) police have dealt with a number of incidents including a walker who collapsed while trying to reach the site, people driving to the scene to record the incident on mobile phones, blocking access for emergency vehicles and others flying drones over the moorland.

Read more: Watch what firefighters have faced on Winter Hill

Inspector Marianne Lawson said: “Alongside our colleagues from Lancashire Fire and Rescue, we are urging people to stay away from the Winter Hill area.

“We have had to deal with a number of public safety incidents today.

“The actions of these individuals is reckless and dangerous. It hampers the emergency service response while the fire presents a clear risk to those choosing to travel to the area.

“This is a major incident and only trained specialists should be at the scene.

“Please support the efforts of the police and fire crews and do not travel to Winter Hill while efforts continue to extinguish the fire.”

A number of small moorland fires have also been started by people near to Winter Hill – with one in Chorley quickly put out by fire crews.

Firefighters are expected to be fighting the Winter Hill moor fire for days to come with no rain forecast for the next fortnight in Lancashire.

The smoke plumes could be clearly seen throughout Preston during Saturday Pic: Tony Worrall
The smoke plumes could be clearly seen throughout Preston during Saturday Pic: Tony Worrall

The fire started on Thursday (28 June) afternoon and a 22-year-old man was arrested, and now released under investigation, on suspicion of arson to endanger life.

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