North York Moors National Park on 'fire alert' less than two weeks after heavy snowfall

Two weekends ago the North York Moors were covered in snow - yet a subsequent spell of dry weather has put them at risk of fire.

Less than two weeks ago there was heavy snow in the area

The North York Moors National Park Authority has confirmed that the area is officially on 'fire alert' due to the recent warm and dry conditions.

The bracken and ground vegetation on the moorland has become extremely dry and new fire warning signs are currently being erected by rangers.

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Visitors have been warned that barbecues and campfires are completely prohibited in the present situation.

North York Moors National Park

Senior ranger Bernie McLinden, said: “Moorland fires can spread extremely quickly and can cause significant damage to wildlife and habitats. People should not light fires or barbecues and please do not carelessly discard cigarettes, matches or glass bottles. This includes throwing cigarette ends out of car windows.

“It is not unprecedented for fires to occur at this time of year and the majority of moorland fires can be prevented so we would urge people to take extra care when visiting the National Park while the fire risk signs are in place.”

Although controlled heather burning does take place in the area, particularly on shooting estates, the period when it can be legally undertaken ended on April 15, meaning any burning seen will now be an uncontrolled wildfire.

Last year disposable barbecues were responsible for fires breaking out at a number of beauty spots in Yorkshire, including Cod Beck Reservoir in the North York Moors National Park.