At around 4pm this evening (Thurs 28th June), Lancashire Fire Service were called to reports of a fire raging across Winter Hill to the north of Bolton.
Fifteen appliances were reported to be involved in dealing with the fire in order to stop it spreading into forested areas, where fire officials say it would be a lot harder to fight.
Initial reports of the fire affecting the iconic radio antenna proved to be false and have been dismissed by the police.
As the highest point in the area, Winter Hill houses a range of communications towers which broadcast both TV and Radio signals across the region. It is said that none of the towers or services is affected.
The bulk of the fire seems to be on the southern and western flanks of the hill around where Rivington Pike is situated, fire crews were using the towers car park as a base of operations this evening. The grade 2 listed pike tower which stands 6.1m high and was completed in 1733, is said to be untouched by the fire at the moment.
Bolton mountain rescue service is also on hand to offer assistance should it be needed, fortunately, there are no reports of any injuries.
Winter Hill is predominantly a peat area and as residents of Irlam and Cadishead in Salford will probably already know, they are some of the most challenging types of wildfire to deal with as they can continue to burn underground even when the fire seems to have been extinguished on the surface. This allows for the fire to reignite.
Firefighters were seen walking across the top of Winter Hill using beaters to try and extinguish the fire which is smouldering rather than a full-on inferno.
United Utilities have been aiding fire services in accessing water supplies into what is a relatively desolate and inaccessible area. Pumping water to where it is most needed has proved most challenging.
Smoke from the fire has drifted across the area and has reportedly now reached as far as Merseyside.
Meanwhile, the Army was drafted in this morning to help tackle a wildfire on Saddleworth Moor which has been raging for days. The high temperatures and lack of rain have made tackling the fire extremely difficult and this has resulted in huge damage to the fauna and flora. Some experts have said that it could take over 10 years for the area to fully recover.
The Saddleworth fire is the worst ever on recorded and fire teams have worked tirelessly for days to try and bring it under some kind of control.