High to very high risk of wildfires across Yorkshire on Thursday as mercury soars

The CLA (Country Land and Business Association) has called for the public to take extra care on Thursday (June 23) due to an increased wildfire risk.

There is a high risk of wildfires across Yorkshire on Thursday, with areas around Ripon, Leeds, Hull, Driffield, Selby, and Beverly at a ‘very high’ risk, according to the Met Office’s Fire Severity Index.

Temperatures are expected to rise to highs of 29 C in Yorkshire during the day, with a risk of thundery showers and even hail later on.

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The risk of fire, especially on hillsides, moors and heathland, has been elevated by high temperatures this week, coupled with a long spell of dry weather. The warm weather also increases the number of visitors to the countryside.

A wildfire at Marsden Moor near Holmfirth in March 2022A wildfire at Marsden Moor near Holmfirth in March 2022
A wildfire at Marsden Moor near Holmfirth in March 2022

The CLA advised that people should avoid discarding litter and cigarettes or other smouldering material.

Barbeques should only take place in sheltered areas well away from combustible material, and properly extinguished afterwards, the CLA said, although it noted in many areas people should not barbecue at all.

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CLA Director North Lucinda Douglas said: “In the past, we have witnessed the devastating impacts wildfires fires can have, both on rural communities and farmers, as well as scarring the landscape and destroying wildlife.

“We appeal to the public and farmers to be extra vigilant when out and about in the countryside.”

“Farmers ought to check for dust build-up in their combines, as it is a common cause of fire.”

“We encourage all farmers to equip themselves with fire extinguishers, or to have bowsers in strategic places around their field in case of fire, as well as checking their vehicles for faults which may release sparks onto dry stubble.”

In case of a fire, the public is advised not to try and tackle the fire themselves, and to alert the emergency services on the 999 number, stating the location as accurately as possible.