Raising awareness of moorland fire danger

DERBYSHIRE Fire and Rescue Service has teamed up with agencies in the Peak District to raise awareness of the danger of campfires on moorland.

The Peak District moorlands are the most visited in the world and as summer approaches, visitors to the national park are being urged not to have campfires as they can smoulder and spread, developing into a large fire which can damage the area’s sensitive natural environment.

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service Station Manager Ian Redfern said: “As we start to get to the warmer and drier weather, the number of visitors to the Peak District increases. This in turn increases the risk of an environmentally damaging fire, which would have a significant impact on the resources available both in Derbyshire and South Yorkshire and can tie up fire-fighting crews for several days. The majority of fires that Derbyshire and South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Services are called to are started by barbecues, discarded cigarettes and illegal campfires.”

Simon Wright, from the National Trust, added: “We really want people to enjoy and appreciate our land and surrounding area but in a responsible way. They need to be careful that their actions don’t impact on others, or put at risk the special character of the area, much of which is protected by law.”

Tom Lewis, from the Peak District National Park, said: “The moors on the Peak District offer a unique habitat for wildlife at risk and are extremely vulnerable. An accidental summer fire is one of the biggest risks to this fragile ecosystem. The effects of these fires affect us all, not just the wildlife, through the loss of sporting and grazing potential, the freedom to roam over the moors and the damage to the scenic beauty of the area.”