Huge West Yorkshire moorland blaze 'started by barbecue'

Telegraph Reporters
The Marsden Moor fireac, near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire - PA

The National Trust has said a large moor fire ongoing on Marsden Moor, near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, is likely to have been started by a barbecue.

The blaze is covering 300 hectares of moorland and the trust said it is now paying £2,000 per hour for a helicopter to help more than 50 firefighters at the scene.

A spokeswoman said Marsden Moor is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a Special Protection Area and Special Area of Conservation due to the ground nesting bird population and blanket bog habitat.

She said: "At present it is estimated that an investment of more than £200,000 in restoring this special habitat has been lost."

The blaze, which started on Sunday, follows another on Marsden Moor in February, which left more than 100 hectares damaged.

The blaze is covering 300 hectares of National Trust moorland  Credit: National Trust/PA

The spokeswoman said: "We're devastated to see the destruction caused. Please help us protect the moors and wildlife by calling the fire brigade immediately if you spot any signs of fire.

"We need our visitors' help to prevent the risk of fire across the countryside that we care for, particularly when we experience prolonged periods of dry weather or are in drought conditions."