Update on moorland fire on Marsden Moor

The incident on Marsden Moor is brought to a close.


Photograph of fire on Marsden Moor April 2021.

The fire and rescue service is thanking partners as the incident on Marsden Moor is brought to a close.

Teams from West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS), Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS), other emergency partners, the National Trust, Kirklees Council, landowners and gamekeepers, Mountain Rescue, Plymouth Brethren Response team and other groups joined together to tackle the blaze following a call to WYFRS at around 7pm on Sunday, 25 April.

Since then, over 100 firefighters from across both FRS’ have been on the scene, day and night, to fight the fire and protect local communities.

At the incident’s height, there were around 70 firefighters on scene at any one time – thirteen fire engines and numerous specialist wildfire teams were deployed.

A helicopter was brought in on Monday, 26 April, to drop water on to the worst affected areas of the fire and crews used blowers, beaters and hose reels to tackle hot spots. The water dropped came from local reservoirs, and the helicopter was also pivotal in developing an understanding of the fire from the air, ensuring resources could be deployed where most needed as quickly as possible.

The incident was closed at first light this morning, Wednesday 28 April, as there were no sign of hotspots and, following a night of rain combined with the firefighting efforts of crews, there is standing water on the moorland.

Crews returned this morning to retrieve equipment and will continue to monitor the area as needed.

Area Manager for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, Scott Donegan, said: “This has been a complex operation across a large area of land, and we’re pleased to say that the incident has now been closed.

“Over the 60 hours that we had a large presence at the scene, our crews and all of the partners who were involved in this response worked tirelessly to bring the fire under control, protect the communities around the Moor and try to protect as much of our wonderful landscape as possible.

“Sadly, around 2sq miles of land has been affected by this fire, something which will take years to recover. We talk regularly about the importance of people being vigilant and being responsible while on the moorland and this incident shows the devastating impact that moorland fires can have.

“This fire was particularly complex because of the land that we were working on – some of the areas of fire were difficult to get to, and it was crucial that we worked with our neighbours in Greater Manchester to ensure a coordinated response.

“I’d like to reiterate what we’ve been saying throughout, which is thank you to everyone who’s supported us with our response – to the National Trust representatives, to the landowners and gamekeepers, to the volunteers from Mountain Rescue who attended in numbers to help with spotting and route planning, to the members of the community who delivered very welcome supplies to the cordon.

“As a final thought, let’s let this incident demonstrate the importance of our Be Moor Aware message. Moorland fires can spread very quickly and can put people, animals and property at risk. As this incident has demonstrated, tackling these fires also requires a lot of our time and resource when they occur. Please do think about the consequences that careless or irresponsible behaviour can have on our moorlands.”