AN investigation is underway after firefighters brought a large barn fire under control at a farm in Appley Bridge.
The barn – containing several tonnes of hay – was completely destroyed by the fire at a farm in Back Lane shortly before 9pm on Friday, February 21.
The fire produced a large amount of non-toxic smoke that could be seen from the M6 motorway and the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) Control Room received almost 30 calls reporting the incident.
At the height of the blaze, three fire engines from GMFRS and three from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) were on the scene – with around 30 firefighters plus several officers.
Five jets were used to get water onto the fire to bring the fire under control and stop it spreading to other farm buildings – one of which contained chemicals.
Wigan Borough Manager Steve Sheridan said: “Once the fire was under control – and knowing that the barn couldn’t be saved – we took the decision to let it burn out which is a quicker way of extinguishing the fire.
“This has less of an impact on the environment and our firefighters – had we continued to put water onto the barn the hay would turn to sludge, which would require digging out and the incident would last for several days.
“We stopped the fire spreading the other buildings but there is a significant amount of damage, which will be costly for the farmer.”
Nobody was injured and there was no danger to the public but motorists were warned to take care on the M6 motorway due to the smoke.
Fire investigators will be on the scene this morning (Saturday, February 22) to try and establish the cause of the fire.