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GMP continues to support moorland PSPO ahead of warmer months

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) have joined multiple partner agencies in renewing awareness and support for a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) designed to prevent moorland blazes.

The force has joined up with Chorley, Bolton, and Blackburn with Darwen councils, along with the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, and Lancashire Police, to spread awareness of their legal powers ahead of spring and the coming warmer months.

The PSPO initially came into force on August 21, 2023 to prevent devastation to wildlife and reduce the risk of wildfire on the moors, covering the areas of Darwen, Bolton and Chorley. Representatives from the authorities gathered on the site of the PSPO to raise awareness of the new order and to encourage people to stay safe when in the area and not use anything which can cause devastating fires.

The PSPO bans any activities on moorland that carry a significant risk of causing wildfires – such as lighting barbecues, building or lighting campfires or camping stoves, lighting fireworks, or setting off night-sky paper lanterns.

Moorland fires are difficult to control. At the time of the Winter Hill fires in this same area in 2018, more than 100 firefighters and more than 20 fire engines were called in to tackle the blaze, supported by soldiers, volunteers from local mountain rescue teams and a helicopter from United Utilities.

Officers will patrol at-risk areas during hot and busy days, reminding people of their responsibilities to protect everyone's safety. Breaching the PSPO is a criminal offence and could result in a fine of up to £1,000.

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