Fire crews are being plagued by rubbish blazes

Tyres are being set on fire
Tyres are being set on fire

Fire crews have blasted residents responsible for a series of call-outs to rubbish being burned on open land.

Fed-up firefighters hit out after being repeatedly asked to extinguish burning tyres and other waste at sites near the old Bickershaw Colliery.

These are deemed nuisance fires which have been deliberately set

Watch manager Marc Murphy

The latest incident saw a crew from Leigh fire station tied up for an hour in the early hours of the morning dealing with a pile of rubber tyres set alight close to a part-built housing development.

The fire service is now warning people that such incidents could prevent engines getting to serious emergencies and is demanding those responsible for dumping and setting fire to rubbish stop doing so.

Watch manager Marc Murphy, from Leigh fire station, said: “We’re having quite a few problems with fly-tipping and people then igniting what’s been dumped in this particular area.

“Residents have obviously got concerns when they can see large plumes of black smoke and from our point of view these are deemed nuisance fires which have been deliberately set.

“Last week we were there for a 60-minute period and if something more serious had occurred during that time the response would have been delayed. Environmental services and the police are aware of what is going on.”

The most recent incident happened at about 5am on Thursday but Mr Murphy said his crew had been called to the area for an almost-identical incident the previous week.

That came just a week after the firefighters were out near Bickershaw dealing with a vehicle that had been dumped and torched.

Not only does the burning waste, especially tyres, cause pollution, it also wastes 999 personnel’s time and the fire brigade’s resources.

Anyone with information about suspicious incidents can ring police on the non-emergency number 101.

Fly-tipping should be reported to Wigan Council using the contact details available on the website.