Confusing Advice From Kirklees On The Current Moorland Fire Risk

saddleworth fire (1 of 1)
The fire on Saddleworth Moor

In the latest edition of “Kirklees Together”, the councils newsletter, there is some confusing and arguably risky advice from the council on the current acute threat of moorland fires in West Yorkshire.

The council advises members of the public to –

  • Only light fires or barbecues in designated areas using facilities provided. Always take extra care if using a barbecue, even in designated areas
  • don’t leave camp fires or barbecues unattended and extinguish them properly after you have finished using them

The implication here is that it is actually ok for members of the public in the current conditions to have a barbie or even a campfire on the moors. Most of the West Yorkshire Moors are a site of special scientific interest and special protection area and I’m not aware of any “designated areas” where barbecues or campfires are permitted. Certainly such areas do not exist on the public rights of way network or open access land where most members of the public visit. Surely the council advice should be much clearer and include the message that barbies and fires are not permitted on open access land. Perhaps it ought to have included a list of “designated areas” just to be clear.

There are signs at all access points to the moors warning of the fire risk and clearly stating “No Smoking or Naked Flames” The council’s advice appears to undermine this very clear message.

The Peak Park’s view is that “Fires of any kind should not be started in moorland areas,regardless of the time of year” and “At times of high fire risk do not use barbecues”

The Peak Parks fire advice is here

And the unambiguous moorland warning signs below.

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