A FIRE alert has been issued for the North York Moors following the recent dry weather.

Staff from the North York Moors National Park Authority have been putting up warning signs, advising people how they can help to reduce the risk. The signs will remain in place until the fire risk passes.

A spokesman for the authority said the recent dry conditions have forced it to issue the fire alert.

"The key message from the park’s rangers is to enjoy the Park but please be extra careful," he said.

"The sunny weather is set to continue over the weekend and this, coupled with a lack of rain and very dry ground vegetation such as heather and bracken, has prompted the decision by the authority to put the North York Moors on fire alert."

Senior ranger Bernie McLinden said: “People are asked to avoid lighting fires and barbecue and not to discard cigarettes, matches or glass bottles, including throwing cigarette ends out of car windows. Moorland fires can spread extremely quickly and can cause significant damage.

“It is not unprecedented for fires to occur at this time and the majority of moorland fires can be prevented so we would urge people to take extra care when visiting the National Park while the fire risk signs are in place.”

If people see a fire, they should report it quickly to the fire service by dialling 999. As the controlled heather burning period for gamekeepers has now ended, any fire spotted will be a wildfire and should be reported.