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Glasses raised as Winter Hill fire heroes finally get back together to honour their hard work

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Everyone involved in fighting the Winter Hill moorland fire have reunited for the first time since the blaze was extinguished.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service hosted a reception at its training centre in Euxton, Chorley on Tuesday evening to bring everyone back together and formally thank them for helping to bring the incident to a successful conclusion.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Dave Russel (right) and Lancashire County Coun Frank DeMolfetta, Chair of Lancashire Combined Fire Authority, address those in attendance at the fire service's training centre in Euxton, Chorley (Photos: Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service)

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Dave Russel (right) and Lancashire County Coun Frank DeMolfetta, Chair of Lancashire Combined Fire Authority, address those in attendance at the fire service's training centre in Euxton, Chorley (Photos: Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service)

Chris Kenny, Chief Fire Officer at Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The nature, scale and protracted length of the Winter Hill fire meant that it would not have been possible to bring it to successful conclusion without the support of our partners.

“The combined skills, knowledge and expertise of all those involved protected people, property and the vital TV transmitter at the top of the hill from harm.”

A total of 17 organisations from across Lancashire and Greater Manchester attended including emergency services, search and rescue agencies, charities and local authorities.

At the height of the incident more than 30 fire engines and 150 firefighters were on the moorland tackling the blaze.

Police officers in attendance

Police officers in attendance

Specialists

Among the volunteers was Bolton Mountain Rescue who played a vital role in the incident, providing specialist vehicles and local area knowledge to help firefighters across the 18 square kilometre site.

Gill Leigh, Chair of Bolton Mountain Rescue, said: "Winter Hill is one of the largest incidents we have ever worked on in terms of the sustained response required, and I'd like to thank the families and employers of our volunteers for supporting them throughout.

"The sense of community spirit and team work during the incident spurred everyone on and it was great to meet up again to celebrate that."

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Dave Russel

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Dave Russel

The fire raged from June 28 and officially ended six weeks later on August 8.

Lancashire County Coun Frank DeMolfetta, Chair of Lancashire Combined Fire Authority

Lancashire County Coun Frank DeMolfetta, Chair of Lancashire Combined Fire Authority