Northumberland was the first national park to issue a fire warning this weekend.

The National Park Authority says the upland areas are tinder dry after weeks of hot dry weather.

Anyone who's been out and about on the fells and mountains of England and Wales recently will testify to the fact that things are very dry – expect water restrictions soon!

National Park rangers are asking the media – ie us – to warn walkers to be careful and not to discard cigarette butts, matches and glass in the outdoors. The authority is also warning against the use of camping stoves, fires and barbecues in the hot, dry conditions.

It's essential that any fire or suspected fire is reported to the fire service using the 999 system as soon as possible. Once fire takes hold on peat moorland it can take weeks to burn out and cause massive irreparable damage.

Other moorland areas are equally at risk, especially the Peak, North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales where there are large expanses of heather moorland.