RESCUE teams tackling moorland fires have issued a warning after a drone forced a fire-fighting helicopter to land.

Firefighters have been tackling a major blaze on Darwen Moor which was believed to have been started by a discarded barbecue over the weekend.

Eight fire engines from Lancashire and Greater Manchester were sent to the moorland fire off Bolton Road on Saturday, along with three off-road firefighting vehicles - a Polaris and two Hagglund - as well as the burn team.

Bolton Mountain Rescue Team said on their Facebook page that the forced landing was "massively hampering the firefighting effort."

The post added: "Don't fly your drones anywhere near Darwen Tower, Turton Moor, Earnsdale Reservoir or Belmont Reservoir.

"A drone has been spotted today, flying over the moor. Because of this, the helicopter that's meant to be dropping water onto the moor has been forced to land for safety reasons.

"This is massively hampering the firefighting effort. Do not fly your drones anywhere near these locations."

Firefighting is continuing today on the moor, with a large number of off-road vehicles, tankers, heavy machinery and aircraft working in the area.

The combination of heavy equipment, smoke, fire, and the risk of reduced visibility could pose a hazard to anyone in the area- so teams have further advice people to keep clear and exercise elsewhere today.