London firefighters to help out at Winter Hill blaze

The convoy of London Fire Brigade vehicles
The convoy of London Fire Brigade vehicles
Have your say

The London fire service has sent 36 firefighters and six engines to Lancashire to help fight the Rivington Moor blaze.

The extra help, which was pictured setting off in convoy from London today, was gratefully accepted by the North West's overworked crews, who have been battling the massive blaze for more than a week.

A firefighter works to extinguish a blaze on Moorside Avenue, Preston. Photo courtesy @Preston_Fire

A firefighter works to extinguish a blaze on Moorside Avenue, Preston. Photo courtesy @Preston_Fire

A statement from the London Fire Service said: "We have today deployed 36 firefighters and six fire engines to assist our colleagues at Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and Manchester Fire service with the moorland fire at Winter Hill as part of a mutual aid agreement."

READ MORE: Fire breaks defended at Winter Hill to help stop spread of blaze

Meanwhile, firefighters battling smoke, heat and flames on the moors are also up against another relentless foe - members of the general public behaving irresponsibly.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service also tweeted about the latest in a series of crass actions by people as they try to put out the flames.

The moorland fire at Rivington

The moorland fire at Rivington

Their tweet read: "We were dismayed to find a discarded disposable barbecue on #WinterHill.

"This reckless act could have easily started another large fire close to the existing fires on Winter Hill."

The throwaway barbecue tray, burnt out, was found by a firefighter just yards from scorched moorland.

As fires raged on Winter Hill and nearby Rivington Pike, a helicopter from the National Police Air Service (NPAS) spotted another intense blaze on the hills in the early hours of last Saturday morning.

On closer inspection they found a group of people had lit a camp fire.

NPAS Barton tweeted that police were en route to "offer words of advice", to the group sat around the campfire, along with a plea for people to act responsibly.

With dozens of fire engines and other specialist equipment mobilised, along with more than 100 firefighters at both Saddleworth Moor and Winter Hill, pleas have been made for the public to stay away and let firefighters get on with the job.

But they have had to contend with sightseers abandoning cars along narrow one-vehicle country lanes to take pictures and film drone footage.

One set of visitors were seen to get out of their car and start smoking cigarettes - yards from tinder-dry grass and bracken.

In yet another incident a Mountain Rescue team had to take a walker to safety who had decided to walk on the smoke-logged hills - and suffered an apparent asthma attack.

Fire chiefs have pleaded with the public to keep off the moors and observe road closures - for their own safety and that of fire crews.

And Preston fire crews also hit out at firebugs who set a blaze in the middle of a Preston street tonight.

Watch manager Mark Woodward at Preston fire station said: "We were called out at 7.45pm this evening to a fire on Moorside Avenue, Preston, where a fire had been deliberately started in the middle of the road.

"The fire was rubbish and a bin which had been dragged from someone's garden.

"It's a very dangerous and reckless action that puts people in danger, damages the road surface and stops children from being able to play safely in the area.

At a time when we are facing moorland fires it's the last thing we need."