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Fire off Grane Road latest in string of devastating blazes across county

Wildfire updates: Fire off Grane Road latest in string of devasting blazes across county

JUST as firefighters were starting to be relieved from tackling the devastating fires that have hit East Lancashire over the past several days, reports of a new incident in Rossendale were received.

The latest inferno, off the Grane Road, is the most recent in a spate of wildfires which have plagued the county’s countryside as the warmer weather hits.

Six fire engines from Preston, Hyndburn, Blackburn, Darwen and Bacup were called to the scene shortly before 11pm on Tuesday.

Throughout the night firefighters used hose reels and specialist vehicles to extinguish the blaze, which has now been brought under control.

As of 7am this morning two engines remained at the scene with firefighters damping down any remaining hot spots.

An investigation into the cause of the fire has now been launched.

The Darwen Moor fire, which has raged on for three days, is also under control with only three fire engines remaining at the scene.

Over at the Longridge Fell incident, four appliances remain.

Earlier this week the fire service issued a warning about lighting barbecues or campfires as they declared a major incident on Sunday evening after the two large wildfires ravaged the county's countryside.

The recent warm and dry weather conditions coupled with the high winds have created a perfect storm for wildfires to occur.

Chief Fire Officer Justin Johnston said: "We know that the fire in Darwen was caused by a disposable barbecue and we have seen evidence of several small campfires at the fire in Darwen.

"These dry and warm weather conditions, combined with a strong wind, makes it so easy for fires like this to spread and they quickly burn underground in the peat and over ground as well.

"We urge people to enjoy the moorlands but not light at barbecues or campfires.

"They are not only putting the individuals at risk who are lighting them, but they also harm our firefighters, other people enjoying exercise on the moors and the wildlife on the moors.”

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