North York Moors on Fire Alert

Due to ongoing dry conditions the North York Moors National Park Authority has announced a fire alert today.

Osmotherley Trail Half-Marathon, North York Moors, 151 kb
Osmotherley Trail Half-Marathon, North York Moors
© Nick Smith - Climbers, Feb 2013

Visitors should be extra vigilant as continuing dry weather has led to an increased risk of moorland and forest fires in the area, they say.

Staff from the Authority will be putting warning signs up on moorland sites this week advising people how they can help to reduce the risk. The signs will remain in place until the situation eases.

The sunny weather is set to continue over the Bank Holiday weekend and this, coupled with a lack of rain and very dry ground vegetation such as heather and bracken, has prompted the decision.

Bernie McLinden, the National Park Authority's Head of Park Management, said:

'Past episodes have shown that under these tinderbox conditions moorland fires can spread extremely quickly causing significant damage to the landscape and its wildlife. Moorland fires at this time of year can be particularly devastating as birds such as lapwing and curlew are nesting on the ground. The majority of moorland fires can be prevented so we would urge people to take extra care when visiting the National Park while the fire risk signs are in place.'

People are asked to avoid lighting fires and BBQs and not to discard cigarettes, matches or glass bottles including throwing cigarette ends out of car windows. If people see a fire, they should report it quickly to the fire service. As the controlled heather burning period for gamekeepers has now ended, any fire spotted will be an accidental fire and should be reported, says the National Park Authority.

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