20 years of fighting Peak District wildfires

This is an archived press release

Monday 26 September 2016

Moorland fires are a major threat to wildlife and the Peak District landscapeA group created to help protect the Peak District from damaging wildfires is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

The Fire Operations Group (FOG) was formed in 1996 following a series of moorland fires in 1995. It brings together a partnership of six fire & rescue services, National Park rangers, National Trust rangers, water companies, major landowners and gamekeepers. Around 240 moorland fires have been reported since the formation of the group.

Gordon Danks, area ranger at the Peak District National Park and FOG chair, said: “The environmental consequences of wild and accidental fires can be catastrophic – they destroy habitats and erode the landscape – they can also be dangerous, so in the event of a moorland fire it is important that we are able to react quickly, safely and efficiently under the leadership of the fire & rescue services. We are extremely grateful to our FOG colleagues for their continued support.’’

The group, which  is administered by the Peak District National Park, works together to draw up fire plans, share knowledge and advice, raise awareness of moorland fires and their consequences and train for emergencies.

It makes a significant contribution to the sustainable management of the Peak District National Park by protecting its economy, ecology, environment, heritage and rural communities from the potentially devastating impact of wildfires.

The Fire Operations Group carries out regular joint training exercises and monitors conditions in dry weather, setting up fire watches when necessary to give early notice of any moorland fires. It also publicises the risk of moorland fires with posters at moorland access points to advise and inform the public.

Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service Group Manager Steve Wells said: “We are proud to have been an active member of the FOG group for the last 20 years. In that time many innovations, joint training events and better ways of working have been realised by working closely together with partner agencies with a common cause of reducing fires in the Peak District.

“Whilst the environment we work in is ever changing, our work within the FOG group remains important to us in realising our vision of making Derbyshire and the wider Peak District a safer place to live, work and visit.”

This is an archived press release

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