FIRE chiefs are urging countryside users to take care after a major moorland fire damaged a mile-long stretch of the South Pennines.

Specialist soft-track fire buggies were deployed to tackle the blaze on Walsden Moor, near Todmorden, which raged for several hours on Monday night.

Support came from a Bacup crew, and colleagues from Rochdale as the fire, which could be seen for miles, tore through the undergrowth.

Richard Edney, of Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Despite the amount of rain that has fallen over the winter, the moorlands have dried out considerably in recent weeks, and we have already had a few moorland fires across the region. We ask that people take care on the moors, particularly if they are smoking. Please discard smoking materials safely.

“Also avoid starting open fires in the countryside. If you notice a fire, please call 999 immediately.”