Fire crews remain at the scene of a moorland fire in Marsden.
At its peak, more than 10 fire crews were tackling the blaze which started on an area of National Trust land near Black Moss Reservoir and Swellands Reservoir shortly after 7PM last night (Sunday 25th).
The area is known for its breeding bird habitat and is a popular site for rare curlews. It is also home to short-eared owl and mountain hares.
Many nearby residents took to social media to post photos and videos from the scene. The video below, which was filmed by Anthony Guinan, shows the horrific extent of the fire which was believed to be around a mile wide.
It’s nearly two years to the day since another fire in 2019, which destroyed 700 hectares of land. It took a helicopter four days to fully extinguish the flames, which had been caused by a discarded disposable barbeque. The full restoration effort from that fire is expected to take several years and cost at least £500,000.
BBQs and fires are banned on the moors all year round to protect the landscape. Visitors are reminded that defying the BBQ ban could result in a fine of up to £2000.
Countryside Manager for the National Trust, Craig Best, said: “It’s so frustrating to see yet another fire on our moors after all the hard work our team have put in to try and restore the landscape after last time. Although not on the same area of land as the 2019 fire, this fire has also destroyed a crucial area for rare birds and mammals, as well as carbon-capturing
“We’re so grateful to West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service for their efforts. Unfortunately, this was another fire started by people, and could have so easily been avoided.”
“Climate change is causing more frequent and intense spells of hot, dry weather, which turns these upland areas into tinder boxes. That’s why our team are working hard to re-wet these moorlands and to educate people on the dangers of fires, fireworks and BBQs on open moors.”
The ban on BBQs and fires on Marsden Moor runs all year round and is part of a PSPO. (Public Spaces Protection Order.) If you see a fire or a lit BBQ on Marsden Moor, please dial 999.