A CONSULTATION will take place over plans to reduce the chances of fires on beauty spots in Rivington and Winter Hill by introducing fines.

Police are holding a multi-agency meeting looking at the possibility of introducing public space protection orders (PSPO) to avoid a repeat of the moorland fires seen in Winter Hill last year.

The anti-social behaviour, crime and policing act 2014 allows local authorities the power through a PSPO to prohibits specified things being done in the restricted area.

Sgt Paul Harrison, of Chorley Police, is heading the meeting.

Sgt Harrison said: “We have got a multi agency cross-border approach basically exploring possibilities of a PSPO to prevent naked flames being used, barbecues and also the correct disposal of cigarettes.

“It means that if people have to dispose of barbecues and cigarettes safely or they could get a penalty notice.

“The meeting will decide ownership of the scheme and follow footsteps. We are looking to follow suit with other forces such as Calderdale and Saddleworth with the view of protecting our public spaces and beautiful countryside.

“The fire last year was a major event which cost millions of pounds between all of the agencies.

“This will help to reassure the public that we are trying to protect our countryside. There will be a consultation with the public to see if they think it is something they want to see happening.”

Last July the authorities had to declare a major incident after a huge fire broke out on Winter Hill.

The fire spanned 18 square kilometres and it took hundreds of firefighters 41 days to put the flames out.

It destroyed many of the plants on the Bolton section of the West Pennine Moors, as well as paths and fences.