Despite access to areas around Winter Hill and Rivington Pike being reopened following this summer's large moorland fire, people are still being warned to stick to public paths to allow the damaged ground to recover.
The fires, which began on June 28, have been brought under control and monitoring of the area by Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service has now been completed, but to avoid unnecessary erosion to the damaged ground and help plant life to recover, those enjoying the countryside are being asked to stay on the public footpaths and bridleways and avoid roaming the open access areas.
“Assessment of the incident ground this morning using thermal imaging showed that there are currently no hot spots presenting a risk of further fires breaking out," said Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service’s Area Manager, Simon Fryer. "As a result, the fire service will cease monitoring and leave the site in the hands of the landowners, who we have been working with throughout this incident.
"We ask that people take great care and are extra vigilant if visiting the area," Simon added. "Disposable BBQs, discarded cigarettes, and even rubbish left on the ground can all start a fire. If anyone does spot a fire, they should call 999.”
David Goode, public rights of way manager for Lancashire County Council, added: "We're continuing to work with the fire service and other partners to manage the recovery phase of the emergency incident, and are now in the process of reopening these areas.
"It’s important that people stick to the public paths for now to avoid any further damage to the environment and allow it to recover," he said.