THE Ironman Foundation is donating $10,000 (£7,667.20) to two Bolton-based groups who were vital in the battle against the moorland blaze on Winter Hill.

The Bolton Mountain Rescue Team and the Rivington Gardens Trust received $5,000 (£3,833.60) each in recognition of their efforts.

Earlier this month, Ironman UK took place in Bolton for the 10th time but the cycling route was shortened by 17 miles as a result of the fire.

Managing director, Declan Byrne said: “In times of disaster, we stand together with our community and local council partners to provide support to help meet critical needs and move recovery forward.

“We’ve been hugely impressed by the efforts of everybody who has been fighting this fire, from the incredible efforts of the fire and rescue services through to the hundreds of volunteers who have been supporting the operations.”

Firefighters are still extinguishing ‘hot spots’ on Winter Hill where a cordon has been in place for weeks.

The fire started on June 28 and soon became a major incident taking 20 days to be brought under full control.

Bolton Mountain Rescue sent 46 volunteers to support the fire service, putting in over 2,100 man-hours.

A spokesman for Bolton Mountain Rescue said that the donation will help repair damaged equipment and replace an emergency vehicle.

Diane Blakeley, from Bolton Mountain Rescue, said: “It’s been a massive challenge with many of our members in work during the day, then on duty on Winter Hill at night, but as team members we love what we do, we love the moors and we want people to be able to enjoy them safely when the fires are finally put out.”

Rivington Heritage Trust joined staff and volunteers from Groundwork Cheshire Lancashire and Merseyside in supporting the fire service by taking measures to protect the gardens and ensure the safety of the local community.

Groundwork heritage programmes manager Andrew Suter said that the donation will be used to conserve and repair the terraced gardens following the fire.

Almost 2,000 athletes started the race on July 15 which saw a double British win by Joe Skipper winning his first and Lucy Gossage winning her fifth Ironman UK title.

Bolton Council’s executive cabinet member for culture, tourism and sport, Cllr John Byrne said: “It is fantastic that the Ironman Foundation is honouring local charities who have worked extraordinarily hard in the aftermath of the Winter Hill fires.”