FIREFIGHTERS are asking walkers to be extra vigilant following a huge moorland fire in Darwen yesterday.

Six crews from across East Lancashire were called to help put out the blaze, which affected between 800 and 900m2 of grass between the Whitehall Country Park and Lords Hall Farm.

Smoke could be seen for miles around, and fire crews received multiple calls from concerned people.

Blackburn crew manager Darren Ferneyhough said the cause of the fire, which started around 11.30am, was so far unknown. However he warned walkers about the dangers of dropping cigarettes or rubbish.

He said: “This was a well established fire and it was spreading quite quickly. It was difficult to control initially.

“I would ask people just to be mindful if they are in those areas and to watch what they are doing with matches and cigarettes.

“The fires can also start with glass bottles because it is so dry.

“Please just be vigilant and and if you see anything, move away fast because the fire can spread quickly and you could possible get yourself trapped.”

Fire crews remained at the scene of the blaze into the afternoon to make sure all of the flames were out.