The West Yorkshire Fire service has called for an immediate suspension of grouse moor burning after fifteen of its crews were diverted from the national emergency response to put out the fire at Deer Hill Reservoir in Marsden yesterday
At its height the incident has required 20 fire appliances from across West Yorkshire to attend with firefighters tackling a mile long fire-front.
It’s believed the fire started as a result of controlled burning which spread.
The Fire Service is now strongly urging landowners to cease controlled burning and for anyone using the moors to be extra vigilant not to start a fire accidentally.
Last year the Fire Service and partners launched the Be Moor Aware campaign and Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees councils brought in Public Space Protection Orders banning barbecues on moorland and other open spaces.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer Nick Smith said: “We are disappointed to see what has happened today which could have so easily been avoided and we urge landowners to stop controlled burning with immediate effect. Controlled burning can easily spread and tackling the consequences takes up a huge amount of the Fire Service’s time and resources – moorland fires can quite literally go on for miles and days.
“Members of the public who are going onto the moorland for some fresh air and a walk should also be extra vigilant not to start a fire accidentally. Alongside partners, we started a public awareness campaign last year, called Be Moor Aware, following widespread moorland fires across the region and all of our advice from that campaign still stands.
“We trust that you will take this advice seriously not only to protect the moorland, but also to help protect your communities at this difficult time.”