Caution still urged on fire-risk moors in Peak District

This is an archived press release

Monday 24 July 2006

24 July 2006

Caution still urged on fire-risk moors in Peak District

Ramblers have been cleared to roam on Peak District moorlands once more – but constant vigilance against fires is still urged during the current hot spell.

The Peak District National Park Authority today (Mon Jul 24) lifted its suspension of access to open moorland after weekend rainfall slightly lowered the risk, but the situation is being kept under constant review.

All public rights of way have remained open throughout, and Ranger-guided walks are not affected this week, though three were cancelled at the weekend.

Co-ordinated teams from the Peak District Fire Operations Group have ensured that any fire-outbreaks so far have been contained.

The worst burned for 48 hours in underground peat on half a square-mile of Bleaklow, near Glossop. A helicopter dropped thousands of litres of water from nearby Woodhead reservoir and moorland streams supplied water for high-power jets last Thursday and Friday.

Other outbreaks have occurred on Black Hill, Rainow and Dovestones, and next to the National Park on moors around Stalybridge.

Head of access and recreation Sean Prendergast said: “We are still urging people to take caution on the moors, this doesn’t mean that they are safe – the moors are still susceptible to fire, and we’re appealing to people not to smoke, light naked flames or barbecues.”

The Peak District Fire Operations Group – a partnership of the National Park Authority with six fire services and major landowners and operators – has specialist equipment for reaching remote areas, and is maintaining constant firewatch patrols.

Moorland fires not only endanger human life, they are a major cause of erosion, destroying plants and wildlife habitats that take years to recover. Moors for the Future, a £4.7m Heritage Lottery-funded project, has spent the past four years restoring threatened moorland and blanket bog, one of the rarest habitats in the world and instrumental against global warming.

This is an archived press release

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