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Cumbria’s firefighters help fight huge moorland blaze in Lancashire

[F]irefighters from Cumbria have been helping to tackle a huge moorland fire overnight in neighbouring Lancashire as part of an emergency response.

In the early hours of Friday (29 June), fire appliances from Ulverston, Arnside and Staveley, as well as the Grange Wildfire Unit were deployed to support firefighting on Winter Hill, on the outskirts of Chorley, Lancashire. A total of 18 firefighters from Cumbria were involved in the firefighting operation.

Crews from Ulverston, Arnside and Staveley joined colleagues from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service to protect vital communications masts and ensure the fire did not spread to this important infrastructure. They had a watching brief, extinguishing small hotspots with knapsacks.

Grange Wildfire Unit provided support to Lancashire fire crews on Winter Hill, using beaters and knapsacks to fight the blaze and prevent flames spreading to nearby forestry.

The request for Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) involvement came late last night from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service due to the severity of the fire.

Station manager Sean Hevey, who led the CFRS crews, said: “When we arrived at the scene at about 1am there was a vast area of moorland on fire. It was as far as the eye could see. We initially had a watching brief protecting the communications infrastructure. At first light we got on to the heathland and used beaters and knapsacks to beat the fire down.”

The moorland fire is now believed to be under control and all Cumbria’s fire crews are returning to their stations this morning. Lancashire FRS is continuing to use a specialist wild-fire 4×4 vehicle from CFRS as part of the operation.

Cumbria’s Chief Fire Officer Steve Healey said: “We’re proud of the work our fire crews are doing to support colleagues in Lancashire in dealing with this significant fire. In emergency situations like this, fire and rescue services work together as one team and pool our resources, so it’s great to see Cumbria playing an important role.”

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