Community comes out in force to donate food and drink for emergency services battling moorland wildfires.

Listeners of The Andrew Hegarty Breakfast Show on Ribble FM flocked to the Clitheroe-based radio station on Monday (2nd July) to donate food, drink and other items to the firefighters battling the moorland blaze on Winter Hill in Bolton. Organised by community champion, Katei Blezard, and Ribble FM management team, Kath Lord-Green and Lee Roe, the call went out during Andrew’s show on Monday morning for residents and businesses to bring water, energy drinks, food and other much-needed items to the radio station’s studios in the Ribble Valley market town.

“I was genuinely humbled by the response from my listeners” – Andrew

Scores of residents and business owners arrived at the studios armed with everything that had been requested and more besides, much to Andrew’s surprise and delight. He said, “I didn’t realise that I had so many listeners! I want to say thank you to all of the local residents who donated from their kitchen cupboards or went to the supermarket to purchase the things we needed. Particular praise should go to Ian and Sandra at The Chicken Deli in Clitheroe for providing some delicious sausage sandwiches for the crews out on the moors, Dave Brass at Banana News for allowing me to, quite literally, empty his shop of crisps, flapjacks, biscuits and drinks, Tesco in Clitheroe for bringing a trolley full of items, Ewood Foods for providing a huge amount of packed lunch bags and Anthony at Ribble Valley Group catering for providing a refrigerated van so we could deliver some cold drinks to the hot and exhausted workers from the emergency services and other agencies who are working so hard in what must be extremely difficult conditions”. Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service released a statement this week to thank the people of the county for their donations and said that it’s likely that the Winter Hill fire will carry on burning for at least another week with no sign of rain in the weather forecast for the foreseeable future. Lancashire Constabulary confirmed that a 22 year-old man from Bolton had been arrested on suspicion of deliberately causing the blaze which has seen firefighters from Nottingham, Wales, Newcastle and London assisting crews from Lancashire and Manchester.

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