'Stay away' from Winter Hill plea as man collapses near moorland blaze
A man collapsed after he ignored firefighters' advice and wandered too close to the scene of theÂ Winter Hill blaze, say police.
The man is believed to have collapsed after he inhaled smoke from the moorland blaze which has now been declared a major incident.
Volunteers from the Mountain Rescue team were forced to undertake the rescue in difficult conditions after the man is said to have ignored basic safety advice.
And police have revealed that this is just one of "numerous" similar incidents that emergency services have had to respond to in the midst of battling the major moorland fire.
These have included people driving to the scene to record the incident on mobile phones, blocking access roads for emergency vehicles and others flying drones over the moorland to record footage of the fire.According to senior police officers, these incidents have obstructed emergency services and presented a clear public safety issue.Insp Marianne Lawson, of Lancashire Police, said: “Alongside our colleagues from Lancashire Fire and Rescue, we are urging people to stay away from the Winter Hill area.“We have had to deal with a number of public safety incidents today.“The actions of these individuals is reckless and dangerous. It hampers the emergency service response while the fire presents a clear risk to those choosing to travel to the area.“This is a major incident and only trained specialists should be at the scene.“Please support the efforts of the police and fire crews and do not travel to Winter Hill while efforts continue to extinguish the fire."
Chorley MP, Sir Lyndsey Hoyle, made an impassioned plea for people to stay away from the area and also shared his fears that the fire could spread to Anglezarke.
He said: "We have people trying to save that beautiful moorland - fire fighters, mountain rescue and the armed forces are all coming together.
"This is a major incident and people are coming up to me and saying can we thank the people trying to protect that moorland. I have to say a big thank you to all the people who are trying make sure that the fire doesn't spread.
"My big worry is where will this fire go from here. As we see it on Winter Hill, I'm absolutely petrified that it's going to move across to Anglezarke.
So I know that people are preparing and getting everybody involved.
But please let's keep away from there and let the experts get on with it.
"What we don't need is sightseers - people trying to look what's going on.
"Let them get that fire out. As I'm here now I can smell the smoke and I can see the smoke. . It's a serious incident, so please people keep away."