Winter Hill Fire update 

01/07/18
Helicopter

Updated Thursday 12 July - 8.50am

Firefighters are continuing to make good progress in bringing a large wildfire on Winter Hill near Bolton under control.

However, they are still asking for the public adhere to road closures which are in place for the public’s safety and to help crews do their job. 

People travelling to the scene by vehicle, bike or on foot, blocking access roads for emergency vehicles and flying drones hampers the response and compromises safety. 

The San Marino Mediterranean Restaurant on Belmont Road is open for business and can be accessed from Longworth Road and Egerton Road. The fire service would like to thank the owners for their patience, support and assistance this past week.

For the latest updates about the fire follow Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service @lancashirefrs on Twitter or @LancashireFireandRescueService on Facebook and keep an eye on our @BoltonCouncil pages on Twitter and Facebook.

Updates can also be found on the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service website.

There are problems with people failing to observe road closures (in vehicles, by bike and on foot) - please stay away - the closures are in place for the safety of the public and responders.  

This map is available for any keen walkers out there. It shows the areas that have been affected by the fire and where Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (Official) need people to stay clear from.

Air Quality update – moorland fires

Now the smoke is reducing, we hope you can enjoy your usual outdoor activities in areas where there is no visible smoke, but whilst fire fighting continues and weather conditions vary there may still be times of poor air quality - so remember to continue to minimise your exposure to any smoke and keep any medication with you.

Residents in areas affected by smoke should stay indoors, keep their windows and doors closed, and tune in to the local radio station for advice and information. When the smoke has moved away and is no longer visible, think about opening doors and windows to allow the house to cool down. If the direction of the wind changes and smoke returns to the area, remember to return inside and shut windows and doors again until the smoke has visibly cleared.

Motorists who have to travel through the smoke should keep windows closed and switch air conditioning systems to recycle or recirculate air.  If people need to be outdoors, they are advised to avoid areas affected by any smoke or ash, or to limit the time that they spend in them.

Smoke can irritate air passages, the skin and the eyes leading to coughing and wheezing, breathlessness and chest pain. It can also worsen existing problems such as asthma and people with asthma should carry their inhaler with them at all times. Anyone concerned about their symptoms should contact their GP or NHS 111.

We appreciate the hot weather is having a combined effect and also recommend that people in affected areas:

• draw curtains to limit direct sunlight heating-up internal surfaces in the home
• wear lighter clothing
• keep hydrated with cool drinks
• cool your skin with water, for example by using cool showers
• limit activities that might contribute to emissions within the home such as cooking
• set any air conditioning to recirculate mode
• limit the time you spend outdoors and avoid strenuous physical activity

Road closures

Road closures remain in place around Winter Hill and you should not attempt to get to it for your own safety. Roads are needed to be kept clear so that emergency services have access.

The following roads are closed:

• Scout Road
• Belmont Road
• Smithills Dean Road at top of hill at junction with Scout Road
• Longshore Ford Road
• Walker Fold Road at junction with Chorley Old Road
• Georges Lane at the junction with Matchmoor Lane
• Marklands Road at the junction with Georges Lane
• Old Rake at the junction with Georges Lane
• Belmont Road at junction with Rivington Terraced Gardens

Smithills Hall is open it's usual hours and there is access to the hall from Moss Bank Way. Smithills Dean Road remains open at junction with Moss Bank Way for access to the hall, Smithills School and for residents.

Help and donations

The fire services have been accepting donations of non perishable food and water at various locations around the borough - keep an eye out on social media for when they are accepting them. The main drop off point is the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service Training Centre, West Way, Euxton, Chorley, PR7 6DH which is open Saturday and Sunday, 8am until 4pm.

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Councillor Linda Thomas, Leader of Bolton Council said: ‘I just want to thank the Fire & Rescue crews from Greater Manchester, Lancashire and around the country for their bravery and hard work in battling the fires on Winter Hill under such severe circumstances. Thanks also to Council staff and partner agencies for the part they have played.

 

"As Leader of the Council I wish to extend our gratitude for what has been a tough few days for all dealing with a complex  operation in very trying circumstances. You’ve been brilliant!"

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