Moorland fire warning after blazes at Ripponden and Ovenden

Apocalyptic: the dramatic scenes of the blaze that ravaged Ovenden Moor last April. Photo: Dave Key
Apocalyptic: the dramatic scenes of the blaze that ravaged Ovenden Moor last April. Photo: Dave Key

A WARNING has been issued in a bid to prevent wild fires like one that raged across Baitings Moor near Ripponden on Friday.

More than 50 firefighters spent two and a half hours battling the blaze at Soyland, which was reported at 1.46pm and stretched over four miles.

Because there was no water available, firefighters used beaters to get the fire under control before it was eventually extinguished at 4.25pm.

Elland Watch Commander Mick Pollard said: “It was a really good effort by all the fire fighters involved in arduous conditions.” The cause of the fire is unknown.

Yorkshire Water is urging people to take care on the region’s moorlands as temperatures rise after weeks of dry weather.

They want to avoid a repeat of Friday’s fire and the huge blaze last April at Ovenden Moor, pictured, which destroyed a vast area of important habitat and took tireless firefighters weeks to fully extinguish.

Yorkshire Water spokesman Matt Thompson said: “While our reservoirs are at normal levels for this time of year, many of the catchment areas around them are very dry. The heather and bracken haven’t really begun to put out new shoots yet so last year’s dead vegetation is vulnerable to fire at this time of year, particularly if it’s dry. We request that people do not start any sort of fire and a stray cigarette end, a spark from a pipe or even the rays of sun through a discarded drink bottle could be equally disastrous.”