Firefighters were today still tackling a moorland blaze in Yorkshire that began on Sunday.
In a worrying echo of last year’s fires which led to the closing of large areas of access land, separate moor fires have broken out in North Yorkshire, Northumberland, West Yorkshire and Derbyshire.
Above: firefighters tackle a moor fire on the Yorkshire-Lancashire border last year
Authorities are now warning visitors to upland areas not to start any fires and to exercise caution when on the moors.
The main blaze was on Colsterdale Moor between Nidderdale and Wensleydale, west of Masham, and another had taken hold on Stean Moor, north-west of Pateley Bridge.
A North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “The fire-risk index is high at the moment, because the undergrowth and moorland is very dry.
“Visitors to the countryside are being urged to be very careful and vigilant where fire safety is concerned.
“We are asking people not to light fires in any form, not to bring portable barbecues into the countryside, and also to be careful with dropped smokers’ materials.”
North Yorkshire firefighters were also in action last week tackling a blaze on Embsay Moor in the southern part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. On Friday, firefighters from West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester were called to a moorland blaze near the Pennine Way on Blackstone Edge and a short distance away at Blackshaw Head above Todmorden.
The fire service has also been in action in the Peak District, where a moorland fire near Ladybower Reservoir, in the East of the district, took hold over the weekend.
The blazes on the northern moors follow a spate of more than 20 fires in Cornwall, some of which, according to Natural England, were started deliberately.
In 2006, a series of closures from May to August hit access land across northern England, as fire-risk levels hit a maximum five and fires on moorland became widespread. The Moorland Association, which represents landowners, called for all access areas to be closed.