South Yorkshire firefighters take part in moorland training exercise

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Firefighters and rangers are to practice moorland firefighting techniques in the Peak District today.

Fire and rescue crews from South Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire will be joined by Peak District National Park rangers for training in using specialist moorland firefighting equipment.

The exercise will involve using high volume water pumps and special vehicles to relay water from Arnfield Reservoir and Valehouse Reservoir to the moorland at Robinsons Moss, near Glossop.

Ranger Gordon Danks said: “The environmental consequences of wild and accidental fires can be catastrophic – they destroy habitats and erode the landscape – they can also be dangerous, so in the event of a moorland fire it is important that we are able to react quickly, safely and efficiently, and that’s why we hold regular training exercises.”

Over 400 fires have been recorded by Peak District National Park rangers over the last 33 years.

The most common causes of moorland fires are arson, discarded cigarettes, barbecues and campfires.

The peat soil and vegetation mean that in prolonged dry periods the moors can be susceptible to ignition.