The wildfire on Winter Hill raged for more than a month and ravaged an area the size of around 2,500 football pitches almost five years ago.

It started as separate incidents, one incident close to the TV mast and one incident close to Scout Road, which combined to create an inferno.

READ MORE: Winter Hill on the road to recovery five years after wildfire.

Over the course of the wildfires, more than 100 firefighters from GM Fire and Rescue Service, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and further afield were assisted by rescue teams from Bolton, Bowland and Pendle and Rossendale, as well as United Utilities and other partners.

The public were urged to avoid the area and were warned to close their doors and windows to protect their properties from the ash and the smoke, which were picked up all across the North West.

The Bolton News: The Winter Hill wildfire

The wildfire on Winter Hill was at the same time as other incidents of a similar size on Saddleworth Moor. There, more than 100 residents were evacuated from addresses in Carrbrook, Stalybridge.

In 2020, a report by researchers from the University of Leeds on the impact of the fires said these cost more than £20 million and exposed five million people to particulate pollution above the recommended levels.

The Bolton News: The Winter Hill wildfire

It said: "Although people might not have been able to smell smoke, particulate pollution was high in areas far away from the fires, such as Southport and Wigan.

"The particulate pollution substantially degraded air quality over the North West of England, leading the pollution levels much above the recommended levels."

At the time of the wildfires, an investigation was launched led by Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and Lancashire Police and two men in their 20s  were arrested on suspicion of arson.

They were released under investigation but it is understood there was no action taken against them due to a lack of evidence.

This article was written by Jack Tooth. To contact him, email or follow @JTRTooth on Twitter.