BBQs, fireworks and fires to be banned on moorland in Bradford after Ilkley Moor blazes

BBQs, fireworks and fires are to be banned on moorlands in Bradford following the blazes on Ilkley Moor and Marsden Moor in Kirklees.

Firefighters tackle fires on Ilkley Moor.

Bradford Council is looking to bring in a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) which bans items, such as barbecues, which cause a naked flame.

This includes fires, Chinese lanterns, fireworks and other dangerous items which can lead to the moorland being set on fire.

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The move comes in the aftermath of recent wildfires on Ilkley Moor and at Marsden Moor in Kirklees.

Ilkley Moor was first on fire on Saturday, April 20.

70 firefighters were sent to tackle to huge blaze and three men were arrested in connection with the incident.

It was on fire again on Saturday, May 18 and a woman was arrested for suspicious behaviour.

At a meeting of the Regulatory and Appeals Committee on Monday, May 20, Bradford Council approved the start of a consultation on the introduction of the PSPO.

The consultation will run for four weeks until Tuesday, June 18.

The “restricted areas” include all publicly accessible moorland within the district including Bradford Council owned and privately owned land, where people have a right of access.

Police and Bradford Council staff will enforce the new law and can fine those who break it up to £100 if they do not extinguish and surrender the items.

If introduced the PSPO will last from June 2019 to June 2022.

Danny Jackson Bradford Council’s Countryside and Rights of Way Manager, said: “Our moorland areas are a precious resource and the impacts of wildfire are devastating and can last for a significant amount of time.

"We want people to enjoy these areas but at the same time people need to be responsible and respect the moors.

"Prohibiting barbecues and fires in these area sends a clear and strong message that, especially at times of hot, dry weather, we can not take any chances and must reduce the risk of wildfire as much as we can."

WYFRS District Commander for Bradford, Benjy Bush, said: “We want the public to be able to enjoy the countryside this Summer and we do not wish to ruin anyone’s fun. However, the impact of wildfires on local communities can be considerable, as can the impact on both the natural environment and the local economy where fires occur in areas where visitors may spend time. We welcome this move by Bradford Council to help protect our countryside.

“Fires on moorland can spread incredibly quickly and pose an immediate threat to anyone in the nearby area and potentially could threaten nearby properties.

“The recent fires have taken a considerable amount of Fire Service time and resources to extinguish. We have seen a handful of these types of fires already this year and as we approach the late May bank holiday we once again ask members of the public to be vigilant if they are planning activities outdoors.”

Bradford Council's PSPO plans follow Kirklees Council's ban on fires and barbecues on Friday, April 26.

To help reduce the chances of wildfire:

do not discard cigarettes in the countryside; dispose of smoking materials properly and make sure they are completely extinguished

always clear away bottles, glasses and any broken glass to avoid them magnifying the sun and starting a fire

if you see smoke or fire on the moors always contact the Fire Service immediately – dial 999.