Marsden Moor: Patrols over weekend to minimise risk of fires

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Firefighters on the moorlandImage source, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption,
Crews tackled a blaze on the moor last month

Landowners are being asked not to carry out controlled burning on moorland in West Yorkshire over the Easter weekend.

Members of the public are also being urged not to travel to Marsden Moor, to help minimise the risk of fire.

It comes after a large moorland blaze last month diverted crews away from supporting the response to the coronavirus crisis.

Controlled burning involves starting fires to clear out low-lying flammable material.

West Yorkshire Fire Service and Marsden Moor National Trust will carry out joint patrols in the area over the weekend.

Fire service area manager Jim Butters said: "The big safety message to all landowners thinking of carrying out controlled burning at this time, is please cease from doing that.

"We are challenged from the coronavirus outbreak, we are losing staff and we look for all help from partners that we possibly can in minimising fires of this nature."

Crews were called to a "mile-long fire-front" at Deer Hill Reservoir in Marsden on 23 March, and want to avoid a repeat incident over the weekend.

Controlled burning is often carried out on moorland estates managed for grouse shooting, with those in favour of the practice claiming it can prevent fires.

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