New images show devastation of Marsden Moor wildfire believed to have been caused by a barbecue

Pockets of fire are still burning on Marsden Moor, near Holmfirth, after a huge blaze destroyed a large area of protected moorland.

A large area of moorland was destroyed
A large area of moorland was destroyed

West Yorkshire Police have now identified a man they believe was responsible for igniting the fire, and although they are not treating the incident as arson and he has not been arrested, they have reported him to Kirklees Council for a potential breach of the Public Spaces Protection Order which bans the use of barbecues and the lighting of campfires on the National Trust-managed land.

The fire began on Sunday and was so large that the nearby A62 had to be closed to traffic.

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It comes just two years after another wildfire attributed to a disposable barbecue destroyed a large area of the peat, which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest home to many species of ground-nesting bird.

A firefighter assesses the damage

The National Trust had already confirmed that they believed the fire was 'avoidable' and that it had severely damaged an important willdife habitat and area of blanket bog.

The organisation's landscape management staff have spent several years working to restore bogs to wetter conditions to make them less susceptible to fire.

During the Easter heatwave of 2019, a 20-year-old man from Bradford was caught setting fire to grassland on Ilkley Moor with a cigarette lighter, causing one of two major blazes that ignited on the same day. Mohammed Zulkifl was later jailed for 27 months. Those responsible for the other ignition were never traced.

It is the second major wildlife on Marsden Moor since 2019
Sheep examine the devastation