FIRE crews have worked throughout the night to control a large blaze at Delamere Forest, as police send a warning to those who choose to be reckless with fire.
Eight fire engines were originally deployed to the popular site at Ashton Road after receiving reports from a forest ranger at around 5.40pm on Tuesday.
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service described the operation as a ‘large and ongoing incident’, involving 40 metres by 40 metres of ground near to Barnsbridge Gates Car Park.
By 7.10pm yesterday evening, four main jets were in use, while firefighters were also setting up a water shuttle from nearby water.
As of 8.05pm, firefighters had split the incident into sections so they could deal with the fire in the deep-seated moss.
They used portable pumps to get water to the area and set up a cordon.
At 8.30am this morning, Wednesday, a spoksesperson for Cheshire Fire confirmed: “Crews stayed at this incident throughout the night and are continuing to damp down areas and extinguish hot spots of fire.
“One hose reel is currently in use and there is a water shuttle set up along with a portable pump to feed the hose.”
As of 4pm, the woodland was fully damped down.
Members of Cheshire Police Rural Crime Team took to social media to warn that people found to be ‘reckless’ with fire will be dealt with ‘robustly’.
They said officers had been patrolling beauty spots like Delamere Forest during the heatwave to explain the dangers of barbecues and campfires, but people still chose to ignore the advice.
A statement on social media reads: “The damage caused by fire has damaged areas enjoyed by all those who visit and can also have an effect on wildlife which could be living or nesting in the affected areas.
“A warning to those who are found to be reckless with fire will be dealt with robustly.
“We will be working closely with Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, other agencies and partners to investigate and prosecute those involved in recklessly lighting fires causing such damage when it could have been easily avoided.
“Over the next upcoming weeks, we will be patrolling marshland, forested areas and areas of open countryside regularly throughout the day to prevent further fires.
“The ground and foliage are likely to remain dry over the next couple of weeks.”