In the wake of the wildfire on Saddleworth Moor, residents are being reminded to take care when out and about in moorlands around Calderdale and West Yorkshire.
Due to the recent spell of warm, dry weather there is currently a higher risk of wildfire spreading across the UK countryside, and on moorland in particular.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods, Cllr Susan Press, said:
“Our thoughts are with people living near Saddleworth Moor and emergency crews tackling the blaze in terrible conditions. We are taking the risk of moorland fires in Calderdale very seriously, particularly during this prolonged period of hot weather and given the close proximity of the borough to Saddleworth.
“As the risk is very high at the moment we will be working closely with our partners, including West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service to identify areas at increased risk. Our Community Safety Wardens will also be visiting vulnerable sites to spot any potential issues and voluntary groups in the borough are assisting with these checks as additional eyes and ears on the ground.
“In order to prevent moorland fires, prevention activities have been taking place in Calderdale over the last few months. This has included visits to landowners from the Police, Fire and Council officers warning of the dangers of fires and also the penalties for starting fires. Signage has also been in place to warn people of potential dangers and give advice on what to do if people see any problems on the moors.”
In order to stay safe and help protect the countryside, residents and visitors should be aware of the following rules when visiting rural and moorland areas:
- do not discard cigarettes in the countryside; dispose of smoking materials properly and make sure they are completely extinguished
- clear away bottles, glasses and any broken glass to avoid them magnifying the sun and starting a fire
- Only light fires or barbecues in designated areas using facilities provided. Always take extra care if using a barbecue, even in designated areas
- don’t leave camp fires or barbecues unattended and extinguish them properly after you have finished using them
- report any information about illegal fire setting activities and those responsible (anonymously) to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111
If you do see a fire in the countryside:
- contact the Fire Service immediately – dial 999 (don’t assume it’s already been reported)
- don’t attempt to tackle fires that can’t be put out with a bucket of water
- give a map reference if possible, otherwise give a landmark such as a farm or pub to help locate the fire
- estimate the size of the area that’s burning
- describe the type of terrain (grass, bracken, forest, open moorland etc)
- evacuate the area as soon as possible