West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has today worked with partners including Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and the National Trust in a day of action focused around wildfire training.
With warm weather forecast this weekend crews and rangers teamed up on moorland near Slaithwaite to test new equipment, swap best practice and formulate techniques should a moorland fire occur this year.
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service Wildfire Lead Officer Richard Hawley said “Days like these working with our partners are hugely important as we can share techniques and get to grips with the latest state of the art moorland firefighting equipment.
“However as useful as exercises like these are – we hope they are not needed in practice. We want to stress to the public that moorland in West Yorkshire is subject to public spaces protection orders (PSPOs) which include a ban on moorland fires, BBQs, or fireworks.
“Lighting any fires on moorland, including any naked flame or flammable item can incur a prison sentence and a fine of up to £2500 as well as destroy precious countryside, so it’s important to be mindful about lit cigarettes too.
“Last year we launched the #BeMoorAware campaign, working with the National Trust and other partners. We encourage everyone to #BeMoorAware, and if you see a fire or someone using a BBQ on moorland – call 999 and ask for FIRE.”
National Trust Area Ranger for Marsden Moor, Ian Dowson, said, “Training days like this with WYFRS are really valuable for all our team. If we have another moorland fire, the knowledge we’ve gained and the relationships we’ve built will help us work more closely together, meaning we can better protect special places like Marsden Moor Moorland fires damage peat soils, harm wildlife and release carbon.”
Ian continued, “With warm weather forecast, we’ll be patrolling key locations across Marsden Moor this weekend. We love seeing visitors enjoy of this beautiful landscape, but please leave the BBQ at home and bring a picnic instead.”