FIRE crews battled a moorland fire this evening.

A fire on Winter Hill - said to be around three hectares in size - broke out as the Rivington Terraced Gardens staged its first light festival to celebrate the opening and restoration of the historic gardens belonging to Lord Leverhulme.

Fire crews were called just after 7pm today and were on the scene for more than two hours tacking the blaze with specialist equipment.

A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said: "Two fire engines from Darwen and Rawtenstall were called to a wildfire on Winter Hill, Rivington.

The Bolton News:


"Firefighters used blowers, beaters and specialist wildfire equipment to extinguish the fire which covered an area approximately three hectares in size. No injuries were reported and the fire was extinguished by 21:20.£

Fire officer at Lancashire Fire and Rescue Shaun Walton posted on Twitter: "Specialist wildfire equipment being used to suppress it".

He later posted after the fire was out: "Thank you for all your kind comments and support from @unitedutilities wildfire on winter hill now out and a few reassurance visits to houses with concerned residents given advice by @LancashireFRS #firewise #wildfire @Firewise."

And added: "Fine fuels such as the moorland grass can dry out in the wind in an hour and be ready to burn if conditions are right, please take care over the weekend if on our moors to prevent wildfires, if you see a wildfire report it on 999."

Fire engines and mountain rescue vehicles were seen heading towards the blaze just after 7pm.

A staff member from the Black Dog pub in Belmont said: "A customer came into the pub and told us something was on fire and could smell it from the car park. We've seen a couple of fire engines go up there but obviously can't speculate too much at this time.

"After last year it's a bit worrying but at a guess I would say the land is too wet for it to spread very far."

Detective Inspector Andy Gore said earlier this evening: "Fire crews have had 32 calls about a grass fire just off Rivington Road close to one of the reservoirs.

"All we know at this time is that crews are currently on scene tackling the fire."

Fire crews from Darwen and Rawtenstall are among those that have been sent to the incident, which is reported to approximately three hectares in size.  

The Bolton News:


Lee Metcalfe from Belmont said: "There's a path leading up from the San Marino restaurant that goes all the way to the top of the TV mast.

"It looks like the fire is on either side of the path.

"Last year when the fire started it stayed on one side of the path, but this time it looks like it's gone over to the side where the village is.

"Apparently it started earlier this evening and I've seen quite a few United Utilities work vans going up there as well as fire engines so hopefully they'll have it under control soon."

In June last year, firefighters from 19 fire services across the country helped to tackle a ferocious blaze on Winter Hill.

The fire raged for 41 days and at the height of the incident there were over 30 fire engines and 150 firefighters battling to put out the fire across 18 square kilometres of moorland.

     0 comment