Arrests made over Ilkley Moor blaze

Police investigating the cause of a large fire on Yorkshire’s famous Ilkley Moor have made arrests, indicating they are treating the blaze as deliberate.

A helicopter was brought in on Sunday to drop tonnes of water onto the smouldering moorland just to the south of the town of Ilkley, West Yorkshire.

More than 100 firefighters tackled the fire in sweltering conditions at its height on Saturday afternoon.

The 14 crews mobilised from across West and North Yorkshire withdrew overnight but around 70 firefighters returned to the moor on Sunday morning.

The helicopter was seen scooping water from a small nearby reservoir and dropping it on the scorched ground.

Firefighters use a helicopter to drop water on Ilkley Moor
Firefighters use a helicopter to drop water on Ilkley Moor (Danny Lawson/PA)

The blaze is not far from the Cow and Calf rocks, which are the focal point of one of the most popular recreation areas in the region.

But police and Bradford Council warned the public to stay away from the area as firefighting operations continued.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman confirmed that arrests had been made in relation to the fire but said further details would be released later.

Local police sergeant Terri Green said on Twitter: “Please stay away from Ilkley Moor today. Deploying many officers to cordon it off due to dangerous conditions due to the fire. Going to need plenty of water and sun cream today for my team and I.”

West Yorkshire Fire Service said on Sunday morning that 12 crews remained on the moor using water jets and beaters.

A spokesman said: “Specialist wildfire units are also in attendance and a helicopter will be assisting with overhead water attack.”

The service said crews also had to cope with another moor fire, a few miles further south, involving 50 acres of land near The Dick Hudsons Pub, above Shipley.

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