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Major incident declared as two more moorland fires merge

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A major incident has been declared after two new rapidly developing and aggressive moorland fires merged together.

Greater Manchester Police have warned pedestrians and motorists to avoid Winter Hill and Scout Road near Bolton after two blazes combined as a result of increasing wind speed.

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The Winter Hill blaze started on Thursday near a major TV transmitter and currently covers about 1.9 square miles.

A 22-year-old man from Bolton was arrested on Friday on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said 10 crews remained on the scene overnight, but the number was increased to 22 from 4.30am on Sunday.

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01.07.2018 wild fires at Winter Hill (Picture: LFRS)

More firefighters were called to Winter Hill last night as two more moorland fires merge as a result of increasing wind speed (Picture: LFRS)

Firefighters tackle a wild fire on Winter Hill near Bolton. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 28, 2018. See PA story FIRE Saddleworth. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

The fire has been ravaging the country side since it started on Thursday (Picture: PA)

Firefighters tackle a wild fire on Winter Hill near Bolton. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 28, 2018. See PA story FIRE Saddleworth. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said 10 crews remained on the scene overnight, but the number was increased to 22 from 4.30am on Sunday (Picture: PA)

Firefighters tackle a wildfire on Winter Hill near Bolton. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 28, 2018. See PA story FIRE Saddleworth. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

There were approximately 120 personnel on the moors, split between seven areas of wildfire in Tameside and Winter Hill, Bolton (Picture: PA)

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said on Saturday it had 28 fire engines tackling the moorland fires.

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There were approximately 120 personnel on the moors, split between seven areas of wildfire in Tameside and Winter Hill, Bolton.

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The first moorland fire – on Saddleworth Moor – started on Sunday amid Britains heatwave and has devastated surrounding land around Carrbrook.

Assistant chief fire officer Dave Keelan said: This is an exceptionally challenging time and I am proud of the hard work and brave commitment of our firefighters.

Lancashire fire service area manager Tony Cook said very intensive firefighting is taking place on Winter Hill, including personnel doing shuttle runs in appliances to get water to the scene while others manually try to beat the fire out.

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A sheep that has been badly burned by the huge moorland fires in the hills above Stalybridge, Greater Manchester. The blaze which has been going since Saturday (June 23), has destroyed vast swathes of upland. June 28, 2018.

A sheep that has been badly burned by the huge moorland fires in the hills (Picture: SWNS)

Scorched landscape of Winter Hill, north of Bolton. The police and fire service have launched a joint investigation into the cause of the blaze on Winter Hill in Lancashire, which emergency crews have been battling to stop spreading since Thursday. A 22-year-old from Bolton has been held on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life.

Ariel pictures show the devastation the two moorland fires are causing (Picture: SWNS)

BOLTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 30: A helicopter drops water on the grass fire enveloping Winter Hill near Bolton on June 30, 2018 in Bolton, England. The grass fire on the West Pennine Moorlands has been declared a major incident. The fire on Thursday and is smouldering across a 1.9 sq miles (5 sq km) area. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

A helicopter drops water on the grass fire enveloping Winter Hill near Bolton yesterday (Picture: Getty)

epa06850359 A handout photo made available by the British Ministry of Defence (MOD) shows British Army soldiers of 4 Scots as they continue to support Great Manchester Fire and Rescue Service with the Saddleworth Moor fire, north west England, Britain, 29 June 2018. The MOD report that around 100 soldiers from The Highlanders, 4th Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland are deployed in support of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) on Saddleworth Moor. Firefighter battle with the fire, which started on 24 June 2018, and has reached seven square miles across (18km sq), with the active 'fire front' stretching up to 2.5 miles (4km). EPA/SGT DONALD TODD (RLC) / BRITISH MINISTRY OF DEFENCE / HANDOUT MANDATORY CREDIT MOD SGT DONALD TODD: CROWN COPYRIGHT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

ritish Army soldiers of 4 Scots continue to support Great Manchester Fire and Rescue Service with the Saddleworth Moor fire (Picture: EPA)

The scorched earth of the Pennines above Carrbrook after the Saddleworth Moors fire. Disclaimer: While Cavendish Press (Manchester) Ltd uses its' best endeavours to establish the copyright and authenticity of all pictures supplied, it accepts no liability for any damage, loss or legal action caused by the use of images supplied. The publication of images is solely at your discretion. For terms and conditions see http://www.cavendish-press.co.uk/pages/terms-and-conditions.aspx

The scorched earth of the Pennines above Carrbrook after the Saddleworth Moors fire (Picture: Allan Bentley/Cavendish Press)

Firefighters tackle the wildfire on Saddleworth Moor which continues to spread after the blaze was declared a major incident by Greater Manchester Police. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 28, 2018. The fire started on Sunday and reignited the next day amid a heatwave. See PA story FIRE Saddleworth. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Firefighters tackle the wildfire on Saddleworth Moor which continues to spread after the blaze was declared a major incident by Greater Manchester Police (Picture: PA)

Fire break trenches are also being dug to try to protect local buildings.

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About 100 soldiers from the 4th Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland, were sent from their Yorkshire barracks on Thursday to aid firefighters in Saddleworth for an initial 48-hour deployment.

Their presence has been extended until Monday afternoon following a request by Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham.

Firefighters tackle the wildfire on Saddleworth Moor which continues to spread after the blaze was declared a major incident by Greater Manchester Police. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 28, 2018. The fire started on Sunday and reignited the next day amid a heatwave. See PA story FIRE Saddleworth. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Firefighters tackle the wildfire on Saddleworth Moor which continued to spread on Thursday (Picture: PA)

Firefighters tackle the wildfire on Saddleworth Moor which continues to spread after the blaze was declared a major incident by Greater Manchester Police. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 28, 2018. The fire started on Sunday and reignited the next day amid a heatwave. See PA story FIRE Saddleworth. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

The army are expected to continue to assist firefighter throughout the weekend at the request of Andy Burnham (Picture: PA)

Firefighters tackle the wildfire on Saddleworth Moor which continues to spread after the blaze was declared a major incident by Greater Manchester Police. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 28, 2018. The fire started on Sunday and reignited the next day amid a heatwave. See PA story FIRE Saddleworth. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Fire break trenches are also being dug to try to protect local buildings (Picture: PA)

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