Huge grass fire on waste land in Wigan

Fire service
Fire service

Firefighters tackled a massive grass fire which broke out on a disused tip in Wigan.

A crew was called to the enormous blaze, which measured around 50 metres across, on open land behind the Morrison's supermarket in Ince.

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The firefighters faced a race against time as the flames were being driven by the wind towards a plantation.

The crew had to physically beat out the fire to stop the blaze spreading further, putting in more than half an hour of hard work in the hot temperatures.

The incident started at around 8pm on Friday and the fire engine was there for more than two hours as firefighters dampened down the area.

Watch manager Jon Roscoe from Wigan fire station said: "This was a significant fire on the waste land and if it had got as far as the plantation with the fresh new trees and plastic around them we would have really struggled.

"We had to run round beating it out to stop it going anywhere near the plantation or a nearby farm.

"After the flames were out we also cut out fence posts that had been damaged so the fire wouldn't re-start later on if the wind got up again."

The cause of the fire is something of a mystery.

No evidence of deliberate ignition was found at the scene but the firefighters could not see an obvious natural cause either.

Fire crews are also reminding Wiganers to take extra care on tinder-dry land as the service is working flat out to deal with local incidents as well as tackle the massive moorland blazes on Saddleworth and Rivington.

Mr Roscoe said: "We are extremely stretched at the moment as an organisation. The guys are working tirelessly on various incidents across the county.

"This incident was also hard work and at the moment we're not even having the luxury of getting clean and dry before having to go straight out to the next incident."