Action to reduce the risk of moorland fires continues in Calderdale, with new signs going up on moors across the borough to warn people that using barbecues and lighting fires is banned.
Last month Calderdale Council introduced a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) in areas of the countryside, to prohibit the lighting of fires, barbecues, sky lanterns or anything that causes a fire risk.
Cllr Susan Press, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, said:
“It’s vital to protect Calderdale’s distinctive countryside. Our Public Space Protection Order is in place all year round to prevent moorland fires – a key commitment within our first 100 days programme.
“We will continue to work with other organisations, including West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, West Yorkshire Police and landowners to warn people of the dangers of fires, and to urge them to enjoy our beautiful moorland responsibly. Everyone has a part to play in ensuring our landscape remains a core part of what makes Calderdale so special.”
Over the next two weeks, the Council’s community safety wardens and countryside team are putting up 50 PSPO signs at entry points to the moors across Calderdale, with support from West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, West Yorkshire Police and landowners.
Community safety wardens will enforce the Order, supported by the Police. Anyone who doesn’t comply will be fined £100 and could face prosecution. This reflects the seriousness of moorland fires and the devastating effects they can cause, including destroying acres of rural land and precious wildlife habitats.
The wardens regularly patrol the moorland, but all agencies also depend on the vigilance and care of people who are out and about in our wonderful countryside to play an active part in protecting it. By working together, we can ensure our countryside remains a key part of our distinctiveness as we seek to deliver our Vision2024 for Calderdale.
The Council is backing West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s #BeMoorAware campaign to highlight the serious consequences of wildfires and to urge people to follow some basic rules to enjoy rural areas without creating a fire threat. Safety advice includes:
- Take your rubbish home after picnics and don’t leave glass bottles – not only can they hurt people and animals, but they can magnify the sun’s rays and start a fire.
- Never be tempted to light a fire in the countryside, including barbecues.
- Never throw cigarette ends onto the ground or out of the window of vehicles or trains. Always ensure they are completely extinguished and disposed of responsibly.
- Report any information about illegal fire starting and those responsible (anonymously) to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
If you see a fire in the countryside, dial 999. Give as much information as possible about the location and evacuate the area as soon as you can.
Protecting Calderdale’s distinctive environment is a key part of the Vision2024 for Calderdale. Where do we want to be by 2024? Join the conversation by following #VisionCdale2024 on social media and visit www.calderdale.gov.uk/vision