Lancashire fires: Ferocious blazes ‘sparked by disposable barbecue’ tear across northern England

Harriet Brewis

More than 100 firefighters are battling to extinguish violent fires in northern England.

Eight fire engines, wildlife teams and helicopter crew rushed to moorland in Lancashire at dawn on Sunday to tackle a ferocious blaze which broke out the previous evening.

The fire, off Bolton Road in Darwen, burnt through more than 5km of land in under 24 hours.

Authorities believe it was started by a disposable barbecue lit during a weekend of hot and sunny weather.

The moorland fire consumed more than 5km of land by 6pm on Sunday (PA)

Blackburn and Darwen Council has warned people to avoid the area after walkers and cyclists were spotted nearby despite the billowing smoke.

Meanwhile, 10 fire engines were deployed to a fire at a tree plantation on Longridge Fell in Dutton, Preston.

Flames tore through the tree plantation on Longridge Fell in Dutton (PA)

A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said: “Firefighters are using water bowsers and jets to bring the fire under control.

“If you’re nearby and affected by smoke, please stay indoors and keep your windows and doors closed. Pleased avoid the area.”

Chief fire officer for Lancashire, Justin Johnston, tweeted: “The 2 large Moorland/Forrest Fires currently have approx 50 Firefighters at Darwen Moor and approx 60 Firefighters at LongridgeFell.

The conditions are the same across the county. Please, No Fires and No Barbecues."