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North York Moors in fire alert

Posted 21 April 2011
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North York Moors in fire alert
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The North York Moors National Park Authority has warned visitors over the risk of fire in upland areas after the recent sunny weather.

While the weather conditions may tempt many to put on their walking boots and enjoy the national park over the Easter weekend, the authority has noted the ground and vegetation - such as heather and bracken - are tinder dry.

It warned this can mean fires will start easily if people act unwisely, such as discarding lit cigarette-ends or leaving glass bottles where they can project the sun's rays.

Signs are being put up to warn of the risk and Bernie McLinden, the head of park management for the authority, said: "Past episodes have shown that under these tinderbox conditions, moorland fires can spread extremely quickly causing significant damage to the landscape and its wildlife."

Nesting birds such as lapwings and curlew are particularly at risk, he noted.

It is the second time this week a national park authority has warned about the fire hazards presented by the dry conditions, following a similar alert in the Peak District.