West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) are strengthening moorland firefighting resources thanks to a generous contribution from Yorkshire Water.
The utility company has given £50,000 towards the procurement of new all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), which will enhance the current wildfire fleet allowing our firefighters to access hard-to-reach areas such as moorland.
Yorkshire Water has been a key supporter of WYFR’s ‘Be Moor Aware’ campaign, which educates around moorland fires, as they can affect the county’s water supply too. As well as damaging the moorland, some of which is owned by Yorkshire Water, if a fire is near a reservoir the run-off from the water can impact water quality in reservoirs.
Wildfire Lead for WYFRS Rich Hawley said “This donation allows us to increase our fleet of ATVs, which are essential for accessing and extinguishing fires in areas inaccessible to our conventional fire appliances. Given the significant increase in fires in our rural landscapes we have experienced recently, specialist vehicles operated by our Wildfire Crews allow a rapid attack on vegetation fires reducing the likelihood of them escalating into large devastating wildfires many people have seen in recent years”.
Mike Pearson, portfolio manager at Yorkshire Water, said: “Our region’s moorlands play an important role in our management of water. We have seen how seriously moorland fires can impact our landscape and we’re pleased to be able to play our part in helping West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s efforts to protect the moors and our customers’ water supply from wildfires.”
While WYFRS continue to plan for wildfires we implore the public to help keep the risk of wildfire down. Please don’t have barbecues or campfires in the countryside, or on any grassland during this very dry weather. If you’re a smoker, please take extreme care with how you put out your cigarettes and dispose of them. Don’t leave litter and pick it up if you see it. Don’t leave it to someone else. Discarded litter, in particular glass bottles, pose a fire risk when the sun’s rays are magnified through it.