A well-used rubbish tip has temporarily closed after a suspected arson in which 40 tonnes of household waste were set alight.
Fire crews from Rawtenstall and Haslingden were called to the Duckworth Clough recycling centre in Haslingden at around 8pm last night following reports of a skip fire.
The tip is closed while the site is cleared of fire damage with council bosses pledging to reopen it as soon as they can.
A notice at the site is directing people to use the Whinney Hill tip in Accrington.
Two fire appliances attended the scene and crews found that two large recycling skips full of approximately 40 tonnes of household waste were on fire.
Rawtenstall crew manager Steve Morley said firefighters tackled the blaze until the early hours of the morning.
They also returned to the site this morning to continue damping down.
Crew manager Morley said: “The fire destroyed two of the skips and we spent the best part of four hours last night tackling the deep seated fire.
“We believe it was a deliberate fire which tied up two fire engines and resources almost all night.
“A wagon had to come and get the skips out and tip all the waste out, and then we had to pull it all to pieces and damp it out.
“Resources have been tied up since 8pm until 7am this morning.”
Firefighters had spotted a group of youths in the recycling plant on arrival to the site.
Lancashire County Council, which runs the site, said the site is closed while the contents of the fire is cleared and they are hoping to reopen it as soon as possible.
Lancashire Police were requested to attend the scene by the fire service at around 10am this morning following the fire.