Moors on fire alert for second time this year

A fire risk warning has been issued

A fire risk warning has been issued

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Tinderbox conditions in the North York Moors National Park forced the authority to call its second fire alert in three months last Friday.

A fire alert was called in early May because of dry conditions, following a warning from the Met Office, and now the risk is deemed to have increased. In response, park rangers put up fire risk notices and visitors were asked to be extra vigilant.

Bernie McLinden, head of park management, said: “People are asked to avoid lighting fires and BBQs and not to discard cigarettes, matches or glass bottles, including throwing cigarette ends out of car windows.

“If people see a fire, they should report it quickly to the fire service by dialling 999 so that they can take appropriate action. As the controlled heather burning for gamekeepers has ended, any fire spotted will be a wildfire and should be reported.”

Fire risk signs will remain in place until the danger passes and Mr McLinden continued: “Past episodes have shown that under these tinderbox conditions, moorland fires can spread extremely quickly, causing significant damage to the landscape and its wildlife. The majority of moorland fires can be prevented so we would urge people to take extra care when visiting the national park.”