Firefighters tackling a blaze on Hatfield Moors say the incident is ‘under control’ and has moved to a new phase.
Fire crews have been on the moors since being called to the incident on Sunday 17 May. South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue says that firefighters are now working ‘systematically’ to fully extinguish the blaze.
For over ten days, fire and Rescue services from a number of regions have been aiding the efforts to bring the fire under control and the response to the incident has seen national resources brought in including high volume pumps and specialist advisors.
South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue says crews have worked with partners including Doncaster Council and Natural England to create a perimeter of fire breaks and hose reels around the site of the fire which covers nearly 16 square kilometers. After dividing the perimeter into segments, the service says firefighters are then methodically working through each section “to ensure the deep seated fire is fully extinguished and does not reignite.”
A helicopter has also been helping fire crews, by ferrying water from nearby lakes and watercourses to douse hot spots.
Fire officers have warned that they expect to be on-site for several more days to come and have asked for the public’s help to prevent further wildfires.
Area Manager Stewart Nicholson, said: “What we really need to public to do right now is listen to our advice. Whilst the cause of this incident is not yet known, people visiting the countryside anywhere in South Yorkshire should leave barbecues at home and dispose of cigarettes safely to prevent further incidents like this one.”
Hatfield Moors forms part of the largest area of lowland raised peat bog in the UK and is the remnant of a large wetland from thousands of years ago. The internationally significant habitat is home to rare and unique species including the nightjar and hobby birds, adders, specialist trees and plants including wild cranberries, bog moss and cotton grasses.
As the incident moves into the next phase, Natural England – who own and manage the site – are said to be looking at recovery action along with Doncaster Council and other responders to formulate a plan to achieve restoration.