Winter Hill fire: Crews continue to battle blaze

Winter Hill fire: Crews continue to battle blaze
Winter Hill fire: Crews continue to battle blaze

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Media captionCrews continue to tackle a major moorland blaze, which started on Thursday

Firefighters took to Lancashire moorland at first light to continue to battle a wildfire that has been raging for five days.

Seventeen fire engines remained at the scene on Winter Hill near Bolton overnight from Sunday into Monday.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) said "full firefighting operations" resumed at first light on Monday with 22 engines.

It is feared the moorland blaze may burn for another week.

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Up to 100 firefighters from across England are tackling the blaze on Winter Hill, which started on 28 June, in "testing conditions".

A major incident was declared when winds caused two fires to merge near communication masts on Saturday.

The flames have spread close to Grade II-listed Rivington Terraced Gardens, which received £3.4m of lottery funding two years ago for improvements.

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The Winter Hill blaze, near a major TV transmitter, is smouldering in pockets across a 3 sq miles (8 sq km) area.

A 22-year-old man, from Bolton, was arrested on 29 June on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Firefighters have been drafted from across England

It comes as crews from across the country, along with the Army, combat a blaze 30 miles away at Saddleworth Moor in Greater Manchester, which started a week ago.

Along with the Winter Hill fire, it has covered the region in smoke and ash.

People in nearby areas have been asked to keep doors and windows closed.

Police have also repeated their advice for people to stay away after a man collapsed from smoke inhalation when he ignored police cordon tape.

Paul Etches, head of prevention at Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, warned the moorland fires were "not going away" and it would take "many more days of intense sweat and effort" to extinguish them.

"Our firefighters are tired but optimistic that we continue to make good progress," he said.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The Winter Hill blaze started on Thursday
Image copyright PA
Image caption Soldiers have been drafted in to tackle the Saddleworth fire

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