Fire-breaks defended at Winter Hill to prevent spread of blaze to nearby farms

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Firefighters tackling the moorland fires at Winter Hill have created fire breaks to stop the spread of fire to nearby farms and buildings, say firefighters.

Fire services say their priorities now lie with protecting life and property around the scene of the raging 8km fire which broke out nearly a week ago.

Fire services say their priorities now lie with protecting life and property around the scene of the raging 8km fire which broke out nearly a week ago.

Fire services say their priorities now lie with protecting life and property around the scene of the raging 8km fire which broke out nearly a week ago.

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Crews spent another busy night beating back fires and tackling hot spots around the defences.

The fire breaks, say firefighters, comprise of several trenches which have been dug deep into the moorland to remove combustible material.

One of the trenches, which is around 10ft wide and one mile long, has been dug using mechanical diggers near to a farm and buildings which are said to be close to the fire.

But firefighters say that no evacuations have been necessary so far and that the fire breaks have been working well.

At first light, 22 fire engines made their way back to the fire at Winter Hill where crews targeted smouldering hot spots and flare-ups.

Mark Woodward for Preston Fire Station said: "Both of our engines spent the night at the moorland fires from around 9.30pm.

"We were working to stop the fire from going up around a fire break to help protect a farm.

"We were working alongside crews from Bacup and Rawtenstall to stop any flare-ups.

"Specialist equipment including our Polaris was used.

"All the Firefighters at Preston and other stations would like to thank the public for their support. The donations of food and drink have been very much appreciated."

A fire service spokesman said: "Crews have been focusing on areas around the breaks to prevent the spread to new areas and, as far as we are aware, this has been successful so far.

"However, the fire is still alight, and it is proving to be an extremely difficult and challenging fire to put out."

Crews say they expect to be at the scene for at least the next few days.