Dry ground prompts North York Moors National Park to issue fire alert

Credit: North Yorkshire Moors National Park

North York Moors National Park has issued a fire alert because of dry ground vegetation and low levels of rainfall.

The park has urged people to be vigilant when visiting, reminding them of how they can reduce the risk of wildfires.

It comes as firefighters have tackled eight blazes on Marsden Moor in West Yorkshire already this year.

There was also a fire on Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Fen Bog nature reserve in May.

Malcolm Hodgson, national trails officer for the North York Moors National Park, said: "While the term ‘wildfire’ might lead people to think that these events are natural or spontaneous, it’s the actions of people that pose the greatest risks.

"Prolonged dry weather creates the right environment for fire to spread quickly and out of control, but the initial spark is nearly always due to human behaviour.

"Wildfires are a complete disaster for our very special habitats. It is devastating to see the damage they cause. Peatland fires are also extremely difficult to extinguish and release significant amounts of carbon into the atmosphere."

Firefighters have tacked eight blazes on Marsden Moor already this year Credit: West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue

The national park authority is urging people not to bring barbecues to the moors under any circumstances and take care when throwing away cigarettes and glass bottles.

Signs will be erected across the North York Moors National Park to warn people of the dangers.