Firefighting resumes at first light at Longridge Fell and Darwen Moor

Fire crews are resuming their efforts to extinguish wildfires on Darwen Moor and Longridge Fell this morning (June 1).

By Matthew Calderbank
Monday, 1st June 2020, 9:18 am

A major incident was declared yesterday (Sunday, May 31) as more than 100 firefighters battled wildfires on two fronts in Lancashire.

Five engines remained at Longridge Fell overnight to keep watch on a fire which had broken out at a tree plantation near Old Clitheroe Road, Dutton at around 2pm on Sunday.

Another five crews arrived at first light this morning and full firefighting efforts have now resumed, with water being sourced from a local reservoir.

At its peak yesterday, ten fire engines had been deployed with more than 60 firefighters working to contain the blaze using water bowsers and jets.

Assistant chief fire officer Ben Norman said the fire is "very likely to have been caused, either deliberately or accidentally, by someone being careless."

He said an investigation is ongoing.

On Darwen Moor, 17 miles away, around 50 firefighters and eight engines were engaged in tackling wildfires which had been raging since Saturday evening.

A tree plantation has caught fire Credit: Mark Ashmore Copyright: other

A number of wildfire teams, an air support unit and specialist appliances were also mobilised to help bring the fires under control.

At 10pm last night, eight fire engines remained in attendance alongside a Polaris vehicle, two hagglund vehicles and the burn team.

The fire front is affecting approximately three miles of moorland with plumes of smoke visible for miles around.

Assistant chief fire officer Ben Norman confirmed that the fire has been accidentally caused by a BBQ.

Longridge Fell fire Credit: Mark Ashmore Copyright: other

He said the person responsible for the fire had immediately reported it to 999 and has since spoken to police.

People are being advised to avoid both areas this morning as firefighting efforts continue.

Updates to follow...

Ten fire engines have been called to the incident Credit: Mark Ashmore Copyright: other