By Oliver Thompson
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) have launched the ‘#BeMoorAware’ Campaign following a high number of dangerous wildfires in the region.
Between 2018-19 the WYFRS have had to fight ten wildfires, compared the previous year they had to deal with just one.
Over the Easter weekend, the largest wildfire terrified Ilkley Moor, with 23 fire engines having to spend 3 days putting the blaze out.
Fire crews in Marsden fought off the largest moorland fire that the service has ever dealt with on the 26 February.
Chris Kirkby, WYFRS area manager, commented:
“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.
“Just one family barbecue can start a fire which destroys hundreds of hectares of beautiful moorland.”
Be More Aware Campaign
The service is supporting local councils in their usage of public space protection orders, which can ultimately ban barbeques, fires and sky lanterns on the moorland, all of which are known contributors to wildfires.
The service has issued these ‘rules’ as part of the campaign:
– Take your rubbish home after picnics
– Observe all signs and notices
– Follow the Countryside Code
– Never be tempted to light a fire in the countryside
– Never throw lighted cigarette ends onto the ground or our of the window of vehicles.
Bradford Council has already brought in a PSPO meaning a fixed penalty notice of up to £100 could be issued on the moorland, which can be raised if left unpaid.