Following a recent spate of moorland fires across the UK and ongoing dry conditions underfoot, visitors to the North York Moors National Park are being asked not to light fires or barbecues. This week the area remains on fire alert.
The National Park Authority uses data from the Meteorological Office which looks at moisture levels in the soil and weather conditions to determine the level of risk for the North York Moors. Fire risk warning signs have been put up around the National Park and will remain in place until the risk passes.
Bernie McLinden, the North York Moors National Park Authority's Head of Park Management, said:
'April's blazing sunshine may have been replaced with cooler temperatures and the odd rain shower in recent weeks, but this has made very little difference to conditions on the moors. Dry vegetation, a lack of moisture in the ground and breezy conditions could quickly whip a spark from a BBQ or dropped cigarette into a large blaze.'
'We have had some rain over the weekend but not enough to make a great difference on the ground' adds National Park Communications Officer Rachel McIntosh. 'The forecast is for dry, sunny weather all week so the fire risk signs will be remaining in place.'
As well as not lighting fires people are asked not to discard cigarettes, matches or glass bottles - including throwing cigarette ends out of car windows. If anyone sees a fire they should report it quickly to the fire service.