Fire Service reminds public to be responsible when enjoying the Bank Holiday weekend

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) is asking people to be aware of their surroundings if they are out and about over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Image of burning countryside. Reads: one family BBQ. 700 Hectares of countryside destroyed.

As restrictions around travelling to exercise were eased recently by the Government many members of the public will be keen to travel to enjoy West Yorkshire’s beauty spots. However WYFRS wishes to remind everyone to be responsible.

It follows numerous moorland fires in our area, plus several occasions last weekend where fire engines were unable to pass due to people parking inconsiderately on narrow country lanes near to moorland.

Assistant District Commander Mick Fox said: “We understand that people will want to get out and enjoy West Yorkshire’s beautiful scenery over the May Bank Holiday weekend. However, it is important they do so responsibly. Last week in Holmfirth and Slaithwaite our crews struggled to get through on fire engines due to cars being parked along the side of the road.

“We advise everyone to check that car parks are open, and that you can park in a safe and responsible way that allows access for emergency vehicles. If you can’t guarantee that then you shouldn’t travel to the area.

“On top of this we want to remind people of their responsibilities on our moorland. All moorland fires are preventable, whatever their cause, and we have already dealt with several incidents in 2020 which were challenging for us as a service to tackle.”

Anyone using our moorlands should take their time to familiarise themselves with our ‘Be Moor Aware’ campaign which has information on fire prevention.

Mick added: “We do not wish to stop people from enjoying the great outdoors, but we ask everyone to take safety seriously to help prevent incidents of this nature, especially at a time when some emergency service resources are focused on helping communities during the Coronavirus pandemic.”

Meanwhile a spokesperson for Yorkshire Water said: “Since the Government guidelines have changed we’ve been working hard to devise a plan to keep everyone safe while enjoying our beautiful reservoirs. Our key workers visit our reservoirs regularly to do vital engineering checks so we’re putting plans in place to help protect them.

“While we do this, we want to remind everyone to not visit our reservoirs this bank holiday weekend unless you live within walking distance. Unfortunately lots of people are still visiting our reservoirs despite the car parks being closed and we’ve had several instances of people parking inappropriately on roads nearby causing traffic issues. This has caused issues for emergency services so please don’t visit this weekend and hopefully we’ll be open again soon.”

Kirklees, Calderdale and Bradford Councils also have Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO) in place which ban fires and BBQs on Council, National Trust and Yorkshire Water owned land. Anyone found to be lighting a fire or BBQ will be given a fixed penalty notice of up to £150.

Find out more about the Be Moor Aware campaign by following #BeMoorAware via @WYFRS or on our official Facebook page.