The REGION's water companies have instructed their tenants and land managers to stop controlled burning on their land because of the Covid-19 crisis.

United Utilities and Yorkshire Water, who are both significant regional landowners, made the request after requests from emergency services and local councils who suggest that controlled burning increases the risk of unintentional wildfires, and that fumes from any from fires may affect people with COVID-19.

The firms say they are committed to ensuring that the emergency services staff can focus on their work, rather than facing additional challenges.

Both companies are also asking members of the public who intend to exercise in moorland areas, in accordance with government guidance, that their actions could cause wildfires, and to behave responsibly.

Paula Steer, the United Utilities director responsible for health and safety and estate management, and she said: “At this time of uncertainty all areas of society have a responsibility to ensure that our emergency services can focus on the key national priority, which is helping people affected by COVID-19 and halting its spread.

"We have therefore taken the decision to instruct our tenants to cease burning until further notice.”