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Ilkley Moor fire: doused but not out

[Thursday 03 August 2006]

THE heavy rain of the past two days has partially doused the fire which earlier in the week destroyed 500 acres of peat on Ilkley Moor - but firemen warned today that they could not be sure if it was completely out.

The rain will have helped on the periphery of the fire but it will be some time before we can say that these deep pockets are completely extinguished

West Yorkshire fireman

"Peat fires can burn very deep below the surface," said a West Yorkshire fireman. "The rain will have helped on the periphery of the fire but it will be some time before we can say that these deep pockets are completely extinguished."

The moor - made world famous by its song, the unofficial anthem of Yorkshire - is a popular area for walkers but the fire service warned that anyone going up there over the weekend is likely to end up very dirty indeed.

"There is ash everywhere," said one fireman. "Anyone who ventures onto the moor in the next few days will get totally encrusted with the stuff. I would advise walkers to look for alternative venues."

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