Altham blaze set to rage into the evening

A massive fire in Altham this afternoon is predicted to rage on long into the evening as firefighting services from across East Lancashire tend to the blaze.

The blaze engulfed around 50 vehicles.
The blaze engulfed around 50 vehicles.

Authorities were alerted to the fire, which has enveloped an estimated 50 vehicles at a car scrap yard in Altham, at 16:08 this afternoon, and while the cause of the inferno has yet to be established, matters are under control.

Firefighters are expected to be tending to matter on the scene at Moorfield Industrial Estate on Moorfield Drive for some time yet despite classifying their approach towards the incident as "offensive", meaning they are in control of the fire.

A statement from Lancashire Fire and Rescue read: "An estimated 50 cars [were] on fire, [with the] cause of fire to be established. [It] required a firefighting response of eight fire engines and crews, plus support appliances and crews.

"At 5.30pm, fire engines and crews were there from Hyndburn (two), Burnley (two), Blackburn (two), Great Harwood and Rawtenstall, and Fulwood's Command Unit, [while] Support pump and crews are there," the statement continued.

"Firefighters are jetting water onto the fire and ensuring that run-off water (water poured onto the fire) does not enter water courses and pollute them," authorities explained. "There is a large plume of smoke, visible from the M65 motorway nearby.

With no reports of casualties, authorities are nevertheless appealing to nearby communities to be wary of the blaze, with the statement insisting: "People living locally are asked to stay clear of the area and if smoke reaches them from the fire they are advised to close windows and doors."

The latest news from the Lancashire Fire and Rescue service explained that firefighters are succeeding in their attempts to quell the fire, but that their work is far from over.

"Our High Volume Pump is supplying firefighting water from the Leeds/Liverpool canal," a statement at 6pm explained. "Firefighting is 'offensive' and not 'defensive', meaning that the firefighting is having the desired effect of putting the fire out, though firefighters will be at the scene for some hours yet."