This is an archived press release
Thursday 24 July 2014
People are being urged to help prevent moorland fires in the Peak District National Park as the hot dry weather continues.
People are asked not to light barbecues or campfires when they visit the moors. They should also never drop cigarette ends (even if they think they are out) or leave glass. All litter should be taken home.
Peak District National Park rangers and land managers are erecting fire warning signs at car parks and key locations used by the public.
The Peak District Fires Operations Group, which involves six fire and rescue services and major landowners along with the National Park Authority, is on standby to tackle any blaze in a remote area. Rangers will be carrying out extra patrols during this time of heightened fire risk.
Andy Farmer, who manages teams of national park rangers, explained: "The recent spell of very hot weather has dried out the moors so they are especially vulnerable to fires which harm wildlife, destroy rare plants and cause erosion, taking years to regenerate.
"Moorland fires can cause considerable environmental damage to fragile moorland ecosystems that are of international importance for their wildlife and plants. They undo many years of hard work invested in managing these rare environments, and animals and birds can be caught in the flames with horrific results."
With dry weather forecast into the weekend and next week, people are urged to stay safe in the countryside.
Andy Farmer added: "People are looking to cool off in the heat but we urge them not to swim in reservoirs or other open waters, no matter how tempting they look. The sudden coldness of deep water, steep bank-sides, strong undercurrents and hidden drops mean that even the strongest swimmer can quickly get into serious trouble."
Most fires are caused by human carelessness, but some fires are suspected to be deliberate. If people see anyone acting suspiciously on the moors they should report it to the police by calling 101. If they spot a moorland fire they should call 999.