FIREFIGHTERS have hit out at people burning wheelie bins after rushing to a blaze in the early hours of this morning.

A wheelie bin was found on fire in Kearsley just after 4am. The culprits were using the fumes from the burning plastic to get high, according to frustrated firefighters.

This fire was just the latest in a spate of identical incidents in Bolton, say the firefighters.

Farnworth crew manager Mark Hoare said: "This is an issue in the area. Kids take wheelie bins and they inhale the fumes to get high. It's an ongoing problem through Greater Manchester as well."

The fire was discovered on Kearsley West Primary School's field, which appeared to have been used before for the same purpose.

Mr Hoare said: "When we put that fire out we could see signs of other fires. The wheels of other bins were still there."

The fire crews are now working to find the people behind the bin fires in an attempt to end the trend.

Mr Hoare added: "We are liaising with fire safety advisors and we are going to liaise with the school to see if they might have caught anything on CCTV."

Firefighters have also previously warned that responding to minor incidents like bin fires can prevent them from reaching major crashes and building fires, urging people not to start them.