We live in the only UK town with a FIRE burning underneath it – council is trying to put it out but we want to keep it | The Sun

LOCALS living in a UK town with a fire burning underneath it have slammed their council for trying to put the flames out.

The unusual blaze is said to have been alight for two years – but those who live nearby say it's been going for far longer and they're happy for it to stay.

Residents say the flames beneath Green Lane, Manchester have been smouldering off and on for decades as a result of leftover coal waste.

And they say their council's sudden decision to put it out is a waste of money.

Wigan Council says it's teaming up with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service to "reduce the impact" the blaze is having on its woodland.

But Pauline Jones, 32, is one of the many residents who doesn't understand why the council is finally taking action.

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The mum-of-two told The Sun: "The fire has been here for years.

"Most people aren't bothered by it so I don't know why the council are doing anything about it now.

"It's a bit crazy the fire has been so long but it doesn't really cause any problems.

"You see it smouldering now and again but that's about it."

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Businessman Phil Smith, 43, agreed.

He said: "I think its a waste of taxpayers money.

"The fire doesn't cause any problems so the council should just leave alone."

Builder Dave Hartley, 36, said everyone in the area was used to the underground blaze anyway.

He said: "I have seen burnt trees when I've been where the fire is but I don't think it causes any problems.

"Everyone is used to it although it is pretty mad to have a fire underneath you."

The council is undertaking a three-week trial to extinguish the fire using a technique grouting injections.

Firefighter Phillip Mellor, the Leigh station manager, said: "Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service are pleased to be working alongside Wigan council and partners to help address the legacy sub-surface fire at Queensway in Leigh."

Aidan Thatcher also explained there will be an evaluation at the end of the three-week trial.

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“This site continues to be closed to the public and we’d like to remind everyone to not enter the site, for the safety and the safety of those carrying out these works," he added.

"Thank you for your patience and cooperation.”

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