Firefighters in Cumbria are pleading with land owners and managers not to start controlled burns unless "absolutely essential", in light of the ongoing challenges presented by coronavirus.

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service are today urging those considering controlled burns not to do so if possible.

A spokesman for the service said that those who manage land may be particularly keen to start controlled burns at the moment, given the arrival of dry weather after such a prolonged period of regular rainfall.

"If the burns are essential, please ensure that you have sufficient personnel and resources to control and extinguish the burn safely," the spokesman said.

"We urge land owners and land managers to exercise caution.

"Whilst conditions may be good for burning, they could also be supportive of very large wildfires like the significant moorland blaze yesterday at Deer Hill Reservoir in Marsden, West Yorkshire."

At least 20 fire engines were called to the Yorkshire blaze yesterday, which at its height spread across an area a mile wide.

The spokesman added that it is "vitally important" for everyone to do what is possible to help minimise the pressure on the fire service during the coronavirus outbreak.

Cumbria's fire service group manager Kevin Johnston said: “It is essential that Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service continue to provide an effective emergency response in these unprecedented times.

"We will require everybody to maintain high levels of fire prevention and protection to reduce the risk of fires to a minimum.”