A PLEA and warning has been issued after a blaze broke out on Crompton Moor.
Police are investigating the incident along with a succession of fires across Saddleworth and on Marsden Moor.
Now the Friends of Crompton Moor (FCM) group is urging visitors to be vigilant and extra careful.
The group says uncontrolled, deep-seated fires are “devastating to everything special about the moors.”
And consideration is being given to closing the main barrier gate much earlier than usual.
The group added: “The dried purple moor grass, which covers large areas of open land, acts as an attraction to a minority of individuals who are drawn to set fire to it.
“Of course, it isn’t always a deliberate act as wildfires can be caused by human carelessness.
“Smouldering cigarette ends, discarded bottles and dropped matches are all dangers.
“Evening visits to the moor increase, with many users wanting to picnic and have barbecues.
“This is extremely dangerous when the grass and other vegetation are so dry. Using barbecues on moorland is also illegal.”
FCM is working closely with Oldham Council’s Countryside Service to protect and keep Crompton Moor safe.
“Please be careful when visiting moorland,” said a spokesperson.
“Make sure litter is deposited in the bins or removed from site; take care with cigarettes and don’t throw the stubs into the grass. And don’t light any fires of any description.
“If you see broken or empty glass bottles on the ground, please help by putting them in the nearest bin.
“If you see a fire, or smoke, phone 999 immediately and ask for the Fire Brigade.
“FCM would like to request that visitors to the moors be aware of the risks and be alert to any suspicious activity.
“If naked flames or smoke are seen please phone 999 and ask for the Fire Brigade.
“A lot of work has been carried out on Crompton Moor over the past year.
“Hundreds of broadleaf trees, and a total of 11,250 plugs of sphagnum have been planted.
“Management of the woodlands is being put in place to change the conifer plantations to mixed woodland over the next few years.”
Anyone interested in knowing more about the future of Crompton Moor is welcome to join the group on May 13 for an open meeting/talk/ discussion.
They will be joined by City of Trees and Moors for the Future.
The venue is to be confirmed.
FCM also have a drystone walling event coming up on Saturday, May 4. This activity always proves to be very popular, so booking is essential.
For updates and information email firstname.lastname@example.org