Summer moorland fire warning

WARNINGS have been issued about the dangers of moorland fires.

So far this year, West Yorkshire firefighters have tackled forty moorland fires, two of which have been large incidents - one above Soyland Moor and the other at Wainstalls, Halifax.

Station Commander, Robin Ward, West Yorkshire’s wildfire officer, said: “Moorland fires are notoriously difficult to tackle because they are often in inaccessible locations, where there is little or no water supply. They burn quickly and ferociously and, when driven by strong winds, can be unpredictable and dangerous for firefighters. Because of this, moorland fires can require a vast amount of resources and be very time consuming.”

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“These fires can cause a great deal of damage to the land and they can wipe out wildlife,” he said.

A spokesman for the Peak District National Park Authority said it had had five fires so far this year, including two recently.

He said: “We remain vigilant at all times, there’s a big bank holiday weekend coming up and so we would urge people to remain vigilant and keep their eyes open and alert the fire service if they see anything.”

In North Yorkshire firefighters fought a large moor fire on the hills above Harrogate at the end of March. North Yorkshire Fire Service said a large number of firefighters were needed “due to the vastness of the moor.”

People are urged to follow basic steps when in the countryside including never discarding lighted cigarette ends onto the ground, don’t leave glass bottles behind which can magnify the sun’s rays and start a fire and Never be tempted to light a fire in the countryside and only barbecue in authorised areas.