New campaign to tackle West Yorkshire wildfires

18 July 2019, 14:20 | Updated: 18 July 2019, 14:21

Marsden Moor fire

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has started a new campaign to try and prevent more wildfires.

There have been 11 large moorland fires in the last six months across the county.

Some local councils have already banned barbeques, fires and sky lanterns on moorland to try and reduce the risk of future fires.

At the launch of the #BeMoorAware campaign campaign on Ilkley Moor, a large banner was unveiled down the ‘cow’ rock at the famous ‘cow and calf’ site on the moorland.

WYFRS Area Manager, Chris Kirby, said: "This year has seen some huge moorland fires across West Yorkshire and it’s crucial the public get behind this campaign to ensure this trend doesn’t continue. 

"Some of the fires have been deliberate, which we utterly condemn – but most have been accidental and simply due to people being careless when out and about. As our campaign highlights – just one family barbecue can start a fire which destroys hundreds of hectares of beautiful moorland.

"We don’t want to ruin anyone’s fun but we do want to make people aware of the serious consequences that a barbecue or a dropped cigarette can have, especially in tinder dry conditions.

"A fire can spread so quickly, once it’s caught there’s little you can do to stop it and before you know it there’s a catastrophic blaze with far reaching consequences. This not only impacts on local moorland and wildlife, but affects local businesses, especially if roads need to be closed for health and safety reasons."