FIREFIGHTERS from across Lancashire have had “one of their busiest ever weekends” fighting moorland blazes.

Tens of thousands of pounds have been spent tackling the huge fires across the county over the Bank Holiday weekend.

More than 300 firefighters were drafted in from as far away as Morecambe to battle the blazes on Belmont Moors, Stacksteads, Haslingden and in several places on Anglezarke and Wheelton Moors.

And members of local mountain rescue teams were also brought in to help control the “rapidly spreading” fires.

Yesterday, five fire engines remained in Bacup with another ten engines and crews at the Belmont Moors.

Firefighters began the process of dampening down the smouldering grass to ensure that the strong easterly winds did not ignite another major blaze.

The fires, which are currently being investigated and could have been started deliberately, have ravaged hundreds of trees, heather moorland and mature coniferous plantations.

John Taylor, from the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The scale of the Belmont blaze has been unprecedented as the wind made it travel across several valleys.

"It has been one of the busiest weekends and there are still pockets of smouldering fires.

“And because it has been very dry and we have strong winds we are concerned that the flames could re-ignite.

"We are now ensuring that there are no more outbreaks and we are hoping for some rain.

"It has been a drain on our resources but it has not compromised our ability to attend other incidents.”

Lancashire police also used their Air Support Unit Helicopter, ‘Oscar November 99,’ to fly the Fire Incident Commander on a reconnaissance flight over the moorland fire areas, and the Salvation Army provided a mobile catering unit to provide the crews with refreshments.