2019-07-23 

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Wildfire Warning from the CLA

Supporting the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s newly launched #BeMoorAware campaign to create greater awareness devastating fires on moorlands.

The Country Land and Business Association Limited (CLA) is calling on the public to take extra care in the countryside due to the increased fire risk.

Moorland Fire

The risk of fire has been elevated by high temperatures predicted for this week, coupled with a moderate wind, especially on hillsides, moors and heathland. The warm weather also coincides with an increase of visitors to the countryside with the advent of school holidays.

Wildfires have the capability to devastate farmland, wildlife and also pose a risk to the lives of people living and working in rural and adjacent communities. Reducing the risk of wildfires is key at this time of the year, and raising awareness is one way in which the risk can be reduced.

Wildfires can be prevented by not discarding cigarettes or other smoldering material. The same can be said for litter as quite often bottles and shards of glass can spark a fire. 

Some CLA members have highlighted the increased fire risk associated with disposable barbeques that are used in the countryside, urging the visiting public not to barbeque in rural areas. Barbeques should only take place in sheltered areas well away from combustible material, and properly extinguished afterwards.

The CLA has also long called for the ban on sky lanterns as these pose a serious risk of fire, especially in the countryside. At present the Government is unwilling to introduce a ban as they do not consider the dangers significant enough, despite animal deaths and fires as a result of sky lanterns. Around 50 local authorities have imposed bans on the use of these.

CLA Director North, Dorothy Fairburn, said:
“We have witnessed the devastating impacts of numerous fires across the North, both on communities and farmers, as well as scarring the landscape and destroying wildlife, and we appeal to the public to be extra vigilant when out and about in the countryside.”

“Harvest time is a crucial time for farmers, but it is also a period of added risk of fire due to the tinderbox dry conditions on their fields. We encourage all farmers to equip themselves with fire extinguishers, or to have bowsers in strategic places around their field in case of fire, as well as checking their vehicles for faults which may release sparks onto dry stubble.”

In case of a fire, the public is advised not to try and tackle the fire themselves, and to alert the emergency services on the 999 number, stating as accurately as possible, the location of such a fire.

CLA

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