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Visitors warned of fire risk

[Monday 22 May 2006]

AS THE bank holiday approaches visitors to North Yorkshire are being reminded of the dangers of lighting fires and to take extra care whilst visiting the countryside.

Every year, fire destroys thousands of acres of countryside and wildlife habitats. Some of these fires are started deliberately but the majority are due to carelessness.

We want everyone to enjoy their visit to the North York Moors but any major fire that does occur will be devastating to the landscape and its wildlife. We would urge everyone to help us reduce the fire risk...

Bernie McLinden - Moors National Park Ranger

Whilst the county's two National Park Authorities and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service want people to enjoy the countryside, they insist it's important that visitors remember some simple countryside safety points:

  • Extinguish cigarettes and other smoking materials properly
  • Never throw cigarette ends out of car windows
  • Do not light barbeques or open fires on or near moorland areas
  • Keep young children and ball games away from barbecues
  • Ensure that your barbecue is fully extinguished and cold before disposing of the contents
  • Do not leave bottles or glass in woodlands. Sunlight shining through glass can start large fires. Dispose of glass appropriately.

Bernie McLinden, a Senior Ranger for the North Yorkshire Moors National Park said: "It is important to ensure that all precautions, changes to operations and extra vigilance are maintained until this current fire risk has passed.

"We want everyone to enjoy their visit to the North York Moors but any major fire that does occur will be devastating to the landscape and its wildlife. We would urge everyone to help us reduce the fire risk and to report any fires so that services can act quickly should they need to."

When fires in the countryside occur, the implications for the Fire and rescue Service are great. Station Manager Carl Boasman, added: "When fires start on moorland or in forestry, the resource implications for the Service are huge. We face many difficulties when dealing with countryside fires. Access difficulties, location of water supplies and the length of time on scene often commits large numbers of our resources for days at a time.

"Although we are experienced and equipped to deal with these types of incident, our aim is to prevent fires before they start. We are looking to the public to help us and enjoy their bank holiday weekend safely and responsibly."

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