STRETCHED fire crews were back on Winter Hill at first light this morning tackling a moorland blaze which broke out yesterday afternoon.

Eighty firefighters battled to contain the fire and ensure the flames did not spread to communications masts nearby.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue have been joined by firefighters from Cumbria.

Pictures show how crews battled into the night to fight the fire.

The blaze broke out as the army had joined firefighters in Bolton and across Greater Manchester to tackle the Saddleworth Moor fire.

Crews from Bolton who have been tackling the fire in Saddleworth were sent to the area and they were joined by Lancashire Fire and Rescue.

Initial reports suggested the radio mast on the hill was on fire. 

Smoke could be seen rising from the top of the hill from across the Horwich and Rivington area.

By 8pm, the fire covered an area 1km sq and the public were being advised to keep their windows closed.

The Bolton News:

Fifteen fire engines were on the scene yesterday tackling the fire from three locations using specialist wildfire fighting equipment plus hose reels and beaters.

The Manchester crews were later replaced by more Lancashire crews.

A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said yesterday: "The area affected is approximately 1km square in size.

"Firefighters are tackling the fire from three locations using specialist wildfire fighting equipment plus hose reels and beaters.

"Mountain rescue officers and United Utilities are assisting at the incident."

The spokesman said there was no immediate risk to livestock, domestic properties or infrastructure but residents were warned to keep doors and windows closed.

Mr Andy Bond, of The Woodland Trust,said: "We have been alerted to news that there is fire on the moors at Smithills, some of which is on our site.  

The Bolton News:

Credit @alsphotography111213

Mark Gordon, Site Manager at the Woodland Trust said: "We are working with the emergency services and local landowners but would advise people to stay away from the area in the meantime.”

The Winter Hill fire comes as firefighters across Greater Manchester are working to fight wildfires which have broken out on Saddleworth Moor.

Fires also broke out on moorland around Rivington on Monday, destroying two acres of land.

Firefighters were unsure as to the cause but believed a discarded barbecue or cigarette may have led to the destruction. 

It took the efforts of seven teams of firefighters from Lancashire and Greater Manchester to bring the blaze under control.