Day the earth caught fire

Picture from reader Dan Birch of moor fire at Walsden
Picture from reader Dan Birch of moor fire at Walsden

A string of ravaging moor fires has led to a warning from fire fighters.

Crews are urging visitors to the countryside during the sunny weather to take care they do not accidentally start a blaze.

Last weekend they were called to three fires on moorland near Todmorden including this blaze which engulfed 50 hectares of Walsden Moor, off Birch Lane.

The flames were captured on camera by Dan Birch, from Allescholes Road in Walsden.

Robin Ward, Todmorden and Illingworth station manager and lead wildfire officer for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, appealed for people to be careful when out on the moors.

He said the recent dry spell had left moorland vulnerable to blazes.

He added there are harsh penalties for anyone found to have deliberately caused a fire.

“Many parts of the South Pennine area are sites of special scientific interest,” he said.

“Anyone who wilfully damages these sites could be subject to a £20,000 fines on conviction at magistrates court.”