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Yorkshire Dales fire risk "low"

[Monday 07 August 2006]

WEEKEND rain brought a sigh of relief from rangers in the Yorkshire Dales National Park who were keeping a sharp eye open for moorland fires which, if they penetrate deep into the peat can burn for weeks - or even months.

fire poster
YDNPA Rangers closed paths during heatwave

Five hundred acres of Ilkley Moor - which lies just outside the national park - were devastated by fire in the heat wave last week and park rangers were putting up signs to warn walkers to stay out of "Right to roam" areas - open access areas - because of fire risk.

However, the rain came in time and over the weekend the fire risk was officially described as "low."

In the meantime, ranger manager Alan Hulme denied reports in the national press that they had been forced to re-open open access land on orders from the Countryside Agency.

The decision to close some of these areas was taken as a precautionary measure by park staff, he said, and he added: "Following the removal of 'open access' rights, there was a change in weather conditions and, with the predictions for the weekend remaining below 5, the authority therefore took the decision to remove the closures notices on the Friday before the weekend."

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