Warning over moorland fires

DERBYSHIRE Fire & Rescue Service is urging everyone to take care when visiting the Peak District to help prevent moorland fires.

Community Safety Officer Dave McMylor, who is based at Buxton Fire Station, said: “The majority of fires are caused by carelessly discarded cigarettes, barbecues and illegal campfires. Such fires can have a huge impact on wildlife and on the freedom of people to enjoy these wonderful natural parks.”

Fire crews have recently dealt with two large moorland fires, including one at Stanton Moor, which it is believed was caused by a carelessly discarded cigarette.

People are being asked to bear in mind the following when out and about or thinking about visiting the moors:

• Fires can get out of control and spread with great speed – don’t try to tackle a fire yourself, call the firefighters out;

• If the wind changes direction then so will the fire causing major problems for firefighters and residents in the area;

•Water supplies may be scarce in some areas. Fire engines carry 1,800 litres of water which can be used up very quickly; Firefighters often use beaters to extinguish grass fires in temperatures of up to 800°. This can cause unpleasant and sometimes dangerous physical effects on firefighters such as exhaustion or, dehydration;

•It can take anything from an hour up to a few weeks to extinguish the fires, they can easily re-ignite; The cost to taxpayers is huge; These fires destroy the landscape, they become black and charred – not a pleasant sight, or smell.

“Please enjoy and appreciate our parks and moors in a responsible way and keep yourself and your family safe,” Dave added.