Moor fire likely to have been started by 'tossed matches'

A blaze in May on Ilkley Moor was most likely started by a person throwing lit matches on the moor.

The fire, on May 18 was dealt with by over 70 firefighters and was the one of the largest incidents West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has had to deal with since April.

At a meeting on Friday, members of the West Yorkshire Fire Authority will discuss the biggest fires in the area between April and June.  The Ilkley Moor blaze was by far the largest, requiring 10 fire engines, four support vehicles and six special vehicles.

68 firefighters and four officers dealt with the fire, which took several hours to extinguish.

A report into the fire, which goes before Friday’s Authority meeting, says it was deliberate and “believed to have started due to a member of the public lighting matches and throwing them into the heath.”

A woman was arrested shortly after the incident, but West Yorkshire Police say she has been released without charge.

There were two other fires that involved more than six fire engines in that three month period.

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