WINTER HILL FIRE: 'We don't need fire tourists', warns Chorley MP Sir Lindsay Hoyle

Firefighters battle the blaze.
Firefighters battle the blaze.
Have your say

As the wildfire at Winter Hill rages on nearly one week later, Chorley MP Sir Lindsay Hoyle has called on people to stay away and let the emergency services get on with doing their jobs.

Sir Lindsay is pleading with the public to avoid the Winter Hill area so that fire service personnel can continue their courageous efforts in tackling the blaze – something that can be seen and smelt more than 20 miles away.

READ MORE: WINTER HILL FIRE: Man arrested on suspicion of arson

In a video to the public, Sir Lindsay said: “Please, let’s keep away from there. Let the experts get on with it.

“What we don’t need is sightseers; people who are trying to have a look at what’s going on. Let [emergency services] get on with it; let them get that fire out.”

Speaking to the Guardian, Sir Lindsay added: “It’s not only endangering their own lives, it’s the fact they get in the way of the emergency vehicles.”

The devastation is clear to see.

The devastation is clear to see.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service has also warned the public from flying drones in the area.

“The flying of drones, it’s absurd,” said Sir Lindsay. “Helicopters could be brought down by them.”

READ MORE: Firefighters will be battling moorland fires for days to come

Meanwhile, Chorley Council is calming any fears that residents may have over air quality and emergency housing – if the fire worsens and homes have to be evacuated.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP

Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP

Coun Alistair Bradley, Leader of Chorley Council, said: “The fire service and all the other agencies have done a tremendous job in trying to get the fires extinguished and we have been on hand to offer any help and support needed.

“Our main role at this stage is to be on hand to support any evacuations and we have rest centres on standby.”

READ MORE: ROAD CLOSURES: Winter Hill moorland blaze

Coun Bradley added: “Once the fire is put out we’ll be helping in the recovery phase as we look to get the area back to some sort of normality.

Firefighters wearing gas masks to protect themselves from toxic fumes.

Firefighters wearing gas masks to protect themselves from toxic fumes.

“In the meantime I’d urge everyone to take note of the warnings issued by the emergency services warning people to stay away from the area and to be extremely careful if you are on moorland in other parts of the borough because we don’t want any other fires to start unnecessarily.

“Public Health England has issued health advice and they’ve reassured us that there is no cause for concern in relation to the smoke being created by the fire.”