Fires And BBQs On Open Spaces Banned In Kirklees

The council there say the ban will be enforced from today (26/4).

Fires and BBQs are now banned on open public spaces in Kirklees, in a joined-up effort to tackle dangerous grassland blazes.

This tough stance comes after the most recent Marsden Moor fire, which was started by a discarded BBQ, estimated to have covered more than 10sq kilometres of moorland.

The fire is now under control and has been extinguished, but the National Trust said that an investment of up to £360,000 in restoring the special habitat at Marsden Moor has been lost.

In a bid to protect the local environment and wildlife, Kirklees Council has brought into force a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) which bans fires, BBQs and other dangerous objects such as fireworks and sky lanterns, on Council, National Trust and Yorkshire Water-owned land.

From today (26/4), anyone found to be lighting a fire or BBQ will have it extinguished and be given a fixed penalty notice of up to £150. Failure to pay this could lead to conviction by a court and a maximum fine of £1000. There are exemptions for private residential land.

The order will be in place from 26 April - 31 October 2019.

This robust stance is being backed by The National Trust, West Yorkshire Police, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and Yorkshire Water.

Karl Battersby, Strategic Director for Economy and Infrastructure at Kirklees Council, said: “Bonfires and BBQs have always been prohibited in council parks and open spaces. But the increased risk of fire and people continuing to ignore the signs means we have to enforce this for the safety of visitors, local residents and animals and other wildlife nearby.

“We sincerely hope that we don’t have to issue any fines at all and that people will respect what we’re trying to do. However, we will not hesitate in taking action against those who show disregard to our borough by continuing to light fires and BBQs.

Craig Best, Countryside Manager for the National Trust in West Yorkshire, said: “Following the devastating fire at Marsden, we welcome this effort by Kirklees Council to try to prevent future fires from breaking out.

“We will continue to promote public safety on our land, and work in partnership with others to promote the protection and enjoyment of this special place.”

Residents are also asked to avoid leaving glass of any kind lying around as it can magnify the sun’s rays and cause a fire to start.

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