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War on wildfires in the Chorley area
8:30am Tuesday 12th June 2012 in Chorley
Moorland experts are teaming up to help save East Lancashire’s rare wildlife habitats being destroyed by fire.
Lancashire Fire and Rescue is working with the Moorland Association and other environment agencies as it starts a summer-long education campaign to make people face up to the impact of starting fires.
The scheme kicked off with a practice session on Bleasdale Fell by the fire service to make sure they were fully prepared should a wildfire hit the region again.
It comes after ferocious fires on moors near Rivington and Belmont wiped out 70,000 trees and damaged an estimated 2,000 acres of land last year.
The campaign is being backed by the Moorland Association’s Lancashire representative Jeremy Duckworth, who said that along with the environmental impact, the effect of wildfires could also be devastating for ground nesting birds like lapwings, golden plover and raptors.
He said: “Wildfire can destroy all of this in a matter of hours devastating important ground nesting birds, livelihoods and our treasured landscape.
“I hope we can encourage a little bit of caution with the campaign. It is nice that people enjoy the countryside but you would not want a fire on your conscience.”
Charlie Powell, spokesman for the Met Office, said at the moment the forecast for the next few weeks were in favour of the moorlands. He said “Temperatures will be around average and there will be no prolonged dry, warm weather.”
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