A FIRE alert has been issued over increased risk of fires in the North York Moors.

The National Park Authority has announce the alert ahead of the bank holiday weekend as recent dry conditions have led to an increased risk of moorland and forest fires.

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The lack of rainfall has led to heather and bracken ground vegetation becoming extremely dry.

And with the recent dry weather set to continue into next week, staff from the Authority have been putting up fire risk warning signs at sites across the National Park, advising people how they can help to reduce the risk.

The signs will remain in place until the fire risk passes.

The National Park's rangers are keen to stress that whilst the area can still be enjoyed safely, extra vigilance is required, and fires and barbecues are prohibited.

Senior ranger, Bernie McLinden, said: “Past experience has shown us that under these types of conditions, moorland fires can spread extremely quickly causing significant damage to the landscape and its wildlife.

“Please do enjoy the North York Moors, but do not light fires or barbecues and do not discard cigarettes, matches or glass bottles, including throwing cigarette ends out of car windows.”

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"It is not unprecedented for fires to occur at this time of year and the majority of moorland fires can be prevented so we would urge people to take extra care when visiting the National Park while the fire risk signs are in place."

If people see a fire, they should report it quickly to the fire service by dialling 999.

The period for controlled heather burning on the North York Moors ended on April 15, which means any fires seen after that date will be wildfire.


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