60 firefighters and 15 fire engines tackle second wildfire blaze this week on Rivington Moor
Around 60 firefighters and 15 fire engines from Lancashire and Manchester fire services have been scrambled to Winter Hill to tackle yet another wildfire on Rivington Moor - the second one this week.
Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) got the call at around 4pm on Thursday (June, 28) regarding a large amount of smoke coming from Winter Hill - with the plume visible for more than 20 miles in the likes of Preston, Wigan, and Manchester.
John Taylor from LFRS said: "We are going up to 15 fire engines and their crews. It's a 50/50 mix of Greater Manchester and Lancashire services.
"We're trying to get as much water on to the fire as possible. I am stood by the mast [at Winter Hill] and the fire isn't endangering that. Wind is blowing flames away from it.
"There's a considerable plume of smoke that is headed out towards the coast.
"We would advise anyone that can see the smoke to shut their windows to stop exposure."
The area of land affected is said to be around one kilometre in size with no immediate risk to livestock, domestic properties or infrastructure.
But crews are continuing to fight the fire on three fronts - one area towards the mast in the north, another bounded by George's Lane in Horwich to the south, and then moorland to the east.
As for the cause of the fire, Mr Taylor added: "It's too early to say - as with the earlier Rivington fire and the fire at Saddleworth a number of causes could be applied, such as a disgarded cigarette.
"We would discount spontaneous combustion as it isn't that hot. It is most likely some kind of human contact."
Fire crews from Fulwood, Rawtenstall, Colne, Darwen, Blackpool, Lytham, Bamber Bridge, Penwortham, Tarleton, Silverdale, Blackburn, and Hyndburn have been in attendance.
A spokesman from Lancashire Police confirmed that a police helicopter is at Winter Hill to tell people to stay away from the area.
They said: "Our role is to support the fire service."
Chorley Council have also working with fire services, with a spokesman saying: "We are working with the emergency services regarding the fire at Winter Hill we will keep everyone updated as it progresses."
They added: "We will relay the safety messages around people staying away from the area.
"There are some health messages that Public Health England gave out yesterday about the Saddleworth Moor fire which will be relevant."
A spokesperson for United Utilities, who own the land, said: “Our Rivington estate team are assisting the fire service and we ask members of the public to keep away from the area affected.”
At 8:46pm Deputy Chief Fire Officer for Lancashire, Justin Johnston, tweeted that LFRS have moved to operate all 15 fire crews, which will release their Manchester colleagues.
He added: "A sterling effort is being made to get it settled before nightfall."
At around 9pm on Thursday evening (June 28), Mr Taylor from LFRS added: "Crews will be here for as long as they can be before nightfall. If there's a danger there will be back out.
"They are beating out flames which leaves a smokey residue so [the fire] could come up again. We have to keep an eye on that."
He continued: "Crews will stay here overnight to keep a watch on it and at first light will be working at it again."