Hundred firefighters tackle blaze on North York Moors

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The Independent Online

More than four square miles of a North Yorkshire moor were destroyed yesterday after a fire broke out in a rubbish bin.

More than four square miles of a North Yorkshire moor were destroyed yesterday after a fire broke out in a rubbish bin.

The blaze spread rapidly across Fylingdales Moor, in the North York Moors National Park. More than 100 firefighters were still tackling four walls of fire, each a mile long, more than 24 hours after it broke out on Wednesday afternoon.

Initial reports indicated that the cause of the fire may have been a "carelessly discarded" cigarette or a barbecue in a rubbish bin. The A171 Scarborough to Whitby road was temporarily closed.

Chris Anderson, assistant chief officer at North Yorkshire Fire Service, said: "I strongly recommend that people stay away from the area. As we have already seen, the fire can spread very rapidly and may catch the unwary off guard."

There were no properties on the moor that were under threat from the fire. But the fire service urged visitors to the Moors to be vigilant in preventing further fires.

"This fire may be a result of somebody carelessly discarding a cigarette or a barbecue into the bin," said Ian Bitcon, the divisional officer. "I urge visitors to the North Yorkshire Moors and the Yorkshire Dales to take particular care when visiting these beautiful areas."

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