THE hot, dry weather could have caused a fire on Holcombe Hill yesterday afternoon.

Fire crews at Ramsbottom were alerted to the blaze shortly after 3pm.

Two fire engines and a Wild Fire Unit were required and it took an hour to deal with the fire.

Fire fighter Mark Haslam said: "Fortunately, it wasn't a particularly large area of grass that was affected. We used water and grass beaters to extinguish the flames."

Student John Andrews, of Walmersley Road, Bury, was an eyewitness to the incident.

He said: "I sat down on a bench just below the top of the hill and saw a small amount  of smoke but I assumed it was someone having a barbecue."

As he made his final ascent of the hill, Mr Andrews said a young couple in their 20s came rushing down past him.

When he reached the hill's plateau, he realised it was a full-blown fire.

"There was a lot of smoke and the flames were quite severe," he said.

"My mum happened to be driving in Ramsbottom and she saw the smoke so she phoned to see if I was okay."

Mr Andrews, who was enjoying a hike in the sunshine, is a student at Salford Univeristy.

He said: "There was nothing really I could do but I stayed until the fire engines arrived."