Barbecues or a carelessly discarded cigarette on tinder-dry Beverley Westwood could spark a wildfire like the blaze burning across Saddleworth Moor, the fire service is warning.
The town’s pasture masters and Humberside Fire and Rescue Service are appealing for people to take care to avoid the risk of fire on the commons land, at Beverley Westwood, Figham and Swinemoor.
Picknickers are continuing to ignore warnings not to light barbecues on the pastures, where it is against the bylaws.
Neil Walker, one of the pasture masters responsible for Beverley’s common land , says evidence of barbecues is still being found on the Westwood.
Ex-firefighter Mr Walker says: “We are experiencing extremely dry weather and as a result, the grass on Figham, Swinemoor and in particular, Beverley Westwood is tinder-dry.
“We would urge members of the public to adhere to the bylaw which forbids barbecues and any form of fire.
“In the light of recent events on Saddleworth Moor near Manchester, the Pasture Masters would urge users of the commons to be vigilant and report any concerns to the police and or the fire service.
“The grass is like straw up there, it really is tinder-dry. It’s a very real possibility if there is an ignition it could spread.”
Humberside Fire and Rescue Service, which has tackled grassland fires in other areas, is urging visitors to Beverley’s pastures to be vigilant.
A fire service spokesman said: “Whilst Beverley Westwood is very different terrain to the moors in Lancashire, this extended period of hot weather does mean that there is increased risk of any open grassland becoming involved in a fire, if cigarettes, or barbecues or open fires are not fully extinguished.
“Be extra vigilant in these areas with cigarettes and don’t leave bottles or cans lying around because they can have a magnifying effect and cause the tinder-dry grass to smoulder and ignite.
“It’s a risk because people are out and about and one cigarette could lead to a fire.”
The wildfire on Saddleworth Moor, which is now being treated as arson, has been burning for more than a week.
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