Peak District Blazes Prompt Call For Barbecues Ban

A series of blazes in the Peak District has prompted a call by officials for retailers to stop selling disposable barbecues.

The barbecues are being blamed for two recent fires in Bamford Moor and Swineshaw Reservoir in Derbyshire.

Park officials said the good weather and dry moorlands created "a perfect storm of conditions for fires".

Shops in the park have been asked not to stock the barbecues amid fears the fires will become more frequent.

On Tuesday, firefighters and gamekeepers were continuing to dampen down the ground after a fire, which started on Bamford Moor on Saturday night.

Eyewitnesses blamed the cause on a discarded barbecue.

And on Monday, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service had to attend a large blaze at Swineshaw Reservoir "with evidence this was started" in the same way.

A Peak District National Park spokesman said the easing of lockdown had "seen an associated increase in the use of disposable barbecues in open areas".

Barbecues are not permitted in open countryside outside of designated areas in the Peak District.

The park has now taken the step to "ask all retailers in the national park and its boundaries to consider voluntarily removing disposable barbecues from sale".

Two Spar shops in Hope and Hathersage have complied with the request.

The Hope store's manager Chris Thorne, said: "We heard of a few fires happening over the weekend, so we took the decision to stop selling barbecues.

"The fires are caused by tourists coming in so they have brought the barbecue with them, but stopping selling them may make a difference."

Retained firefighter Calum Beckett had to tackle a similar blaze in April, after four men travelled from Leeds to the Derbyshire Moors at the height of lockdown.

The unattended barbecue set fire to four hectares of land near the A628 on the Woodhead Pass.

He said he has seen an increase in the number of unattended camp fires and barbecues since lockdown has been in place.

He added: "Disposable barbecues are so dangerous on dry moorland because they give off a tremendous amount of heat, which can easily ignite a dry patch of grass.

"I personally think banning disposable barbecues in the Peak District is a good idea."