Bradford Council is urging people not to light fires or barbecues in the district’s woodland, moorland and countryside sites.
Any kind of fire poses a risk throughout the year, which increases in hotter, drier months. When fires are left lit or smouldering, they pose a serious threat to other people and wildlife and can escalate quickly, becoming a major incident.
The risks are especially high on our moorlands where they can be devastating and use significant resources to combat. The Met Office’s Fire Severity Index – which assesses the severity of wildfires should they occur – is currently at “high” for the Bradford area, rising to “very high” later this week. People are urged to be vigilant and report any fires as soon as possible.
Council byelaws prohibit the lighting of fires or barbecues, dropping lit matches or cigarettes in woodlands, parks and other green spaces. Anyone breaching byelaws can face receiving a fine.
Fires and barbecues are also prohibited on moorland areas in the District under a Public Space Protection Order which has recently been extended.
Anyone who notices a fire, or people using barbecues on council land should report it to the fire service by dialling 999.
Cllr Alex Ross-Shaw, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “Lighting fires or having barbecues is extremely dangerous, especially when the ground is dry and you are surrounded by flammable material. The potential damage and risk could be massive and far-reaching. So we urge people to think twice and not do it.”