Arrests made over ‘devastating’ blaze on West Yorkshire moorlands | UK News
Several arrests have been made over a large fire on West Yorkshire’s Ilkley Moor.
The blaze broke out on Saturday afternoon on the hottest day of the year, spreading rapidly across the dry terrain.
Around 70 firefighters were still working to bring the fire under control on Sunday morning, with authorities confirming a helicopter had also been deployed to assist with an “overhead water attack”.
Locals posting updates to a community Facebook page have described the fire as “devastating”.
Speaking to Sky News, Sarah Reed, who lives in the area, said it was a “shame for the wildlife” living on the moor.
She added: “The worst part is that this fire could have been prevented.”
Ms Reed captured video footage of the flames as she drove past Ilkley Moor late on Saturday, which she later posted to Twitter.
A backfire on #Ilkleymoor Would this have got to this size if it had been properly managed, this is on a rocky bracken slope which perhaps always would be at risk…but a team of fast acting keepers with experience might have got this fettled! pic.twitter.com/rhOKMbeSC7
— Sarah Read (@sarahread2) April 20, 2019
Other videos posted by locals to community pages show thick smoke edging closer to inhabited areas.
“The smoke was pretty bad, but mainly blowing down the valley,” Ms Reed said.
But once it had moved across the hillside, “the smoke started filling the town”, she added.
Authorities warned people to stay away from the moor during another hot Easter day on Sunday.
In a tweet, Sergeant Terri Green said she had sent officers to cordon the area due to “dangerous conditions” caused by the fire.
Bradford Council confirmed a number of road closures.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted his thanks to those battling the blaze, before adding that the “awful scenes” on the moorlands served as a reminder for the “need to tackle climate change”.