Moorland fires can be dangerous and devastating to wildlife. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Moorland fires can be dangerous and devastating to wildlife. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

A prolonged dry spell of weather has put a national park’s moors and forests at risk of wild fires.

North York Moors National Park Authority said it will be putting up warning signs at key sites urging people to reduce the chance of starting a blaze.

The signs will remain in place until the fire risk passes, it said.

A reduction in rainfall, coupled with very dry ground vegetation such as heather and bracken, has prompted the decision by the national park authority to put the North York Moors on fire alert. Even if rain is forecast, it may not be enough to make a difference to conditions on the moors, it added.

The recent dry weather has created a wildfire risk on the North York Moors. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The recent dry weather has created a wildfire risk on the North York Moors. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Bernie McLinden, senior ranger (coast) at the North York Moors national park said: “Past experience has shown us that under these types of conditions, moorland fires can spread extremely quickly causing significant damage to the landscape and its wildlife.

“The message we want to give to people is please do come and enjoy the North York Moors and, as the majority of moorland fires can be prevented, please take extra care and follow the advice on the signs, such as avoiding lighting fires and barbecues and to not discard cigarettes, matches or glass bottles including throwing cigarette ends out of car windows.”

If people see a fire, they should report it quickly to the fire service by dialling 999 so that they can take the appropriate action, the authority said.

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