Richmondshire firefighters tackle grass fires as Catterick soldiers deploy to Saddleworth blaze

Photo: Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.

Fire risk notices have gone up in Richmondshire as firefighters are called to tackle grass fires and Catterick soldiers are deployed to help with the huge fire on Saddleworth Moor.

Fire crews from Richmond, Colburn and Darlington were called to grass and hedging on fire off the B6275 near Manfield at about 4.25pm yesterday.

An area around 100m by 5om was ablaze.

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Earlier in the day, crews from Richmond and Colburn were called to a small area of scrubland on fire off Range Road, Catterick Garrison.

The fire was extinguished prior to the crews’ arrival, although firefighters used a backpack sprayer and buckets of water to damp the area down.

The cause was believed to be accidental.

The public has been urged to be aware of the risk to fire, with visitors to the Yorkshire Dales being asked to be particularly vigilant to reduce the risk of moorland and grassland fires.

The recent warm, dry weather, coupled with low rainfall, means that, increasingly, conditions on the moors are becoming drier, according to Alan Hulme, head of park management for the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA).

With the warm weather set to continue over the next few days, the risk of a fire is becoming a concern and fire risk warning notices are being put up around the national park by rangers to highlight the issue.

Alan said that, in these dry conditions, moorland fires could spread very quickly and could be devastating to the landscape and its wildlife, and especially, at this time of year, to ground nesting birds.

“We obviously want people to come and enjoy the Yorkshire Dales, but we would urge them to do what they can to help us prevent a fire from breaking out,” he said.

“Visitors should avoid lighting fires on or near the moorland and should not discard cigarettes, matches or glass bottles. And do not light any fires or barbecues on or near the moorland area.

“If you see a fire, report it immediately to the fire service by phoning 999 so that they can take appropriate action.”

Today around 100 troops from the 4th Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland, based at Catterick Garrison will join firefighters tackling the huge blaze on Saddleworth Moor, near Manchester.

The soldiers will help to manage water lines and use fire beaters to extinguish the fire.