Fire crews from Slaithwaite, Meltham, Rastrick, Halifax and Cleckheaton attended along with wildfire crews from Todmorden, Keighley and Skelmanthorpe to tackle the first blaze off Old Mount Road.
They were called at around 3.50pm to the moorland fire which measured around 1.5km by 500 metres. Firefighters used blowers, beaters, Landrovers, Polaris and water relay to extinguish the flames. They left the incident at around 7.30pm.
Then at 7.20pm there were calls to a second fire at Wessenden Lodge, Wessenden Road in Marsden with a moorland fire measuring around 2km squared.
Crews attended along with volunteers from Mountain Rescue. Blowers and beaters were used to extinguish the fire which was watched over night to check for reignition.
Chris Bell, Assistant District Commander, was at the scene of both fires and said crews worked hard for hours to put out the fast-moving fires. “These are the first two big moorland fires we’ve had this year and crews went from one to the other, working hard to keep the flames under control,” said ADC Bell.
“We were able to contain the first fire quite quickly, but the second one proved to be far reaching as it had started out as a number of fires, which merged into one area. It started to head towards Saddleworth Moor and Featherbed Moss but crews used their training and expertise to stop this large fire from spreading any further.
“Crews were up at the site again this morning, checking a couple of areas of heat and putting some water on them to make sure they are fully out. The rain that has started today is welcome in helping damp down any remaining hot areas.”
ADC Bell said that wildfires can develop very quickly and take hold faster than people can run – they can be started by a carelessly used BBQ or even broken glass.
Recently WYFRS launched their annual #BeMoorAware campaign, which aims to prevent wildfires and reduce the impact on communities, businesses and the environment.
Advice on helping to prevent wildfires include:
• Clear up and take your rubbish home after picnics.
• Observe all signs and notices – they are there for a reason.
• Follow the National Trust Countryside Code.
• 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 throw lighted cigarette ends onto the ground, or out of the window of vehicles. Always ensure that they are completely extinguished and disposed of responsibly.
• Never be tempted to light a fire in the countryside.
• If you see a fire, or someone using a BBQ on the moorland, call 999 and ask for Fire Service.
Now, more than ever, we need your help to prevent wildfires. Go to our website at https://bit.ly/3Ajz6uD to find out more about how you can do your part to reduce wildfire risk and protect firefighters and your community.