FIREFIGHTERS who worked tirelessly to tackle the devastating Ilkley Moor fire have been praised by MPs.

Judith Cummins, MP for Bradford South, spoke of her admiration during a House of Commons debate, in which she called for fire services across the country to be given the funding they need to do their jobs.

The fire at the landmark beauty spot took hold over the Easter weekend, on the afternoon of April 20, with firefighters and resources scrambled from across the county to tackle the blaze.

Earlier in the day, emergency services had been called to land north of Dick Hudson’s pub in Bingley, where 50 acres of moorland was on fire.

Crews managed to bring that blaze under control, only for a second fire to take hold over on the tops in the White Wells area of Ilkley Moor.

At the height of the blaze, 14 fire engines and more than 100 firefighters were at the scene.

The last firefighters on the moor eventually left on Wednesday.

It marked a dramatic week for firefighters in the region, who were tackling other major moor fires on top of the one in Ilkley.

Mrs Cummins said in Parliament: “Will the Leader of the House join with me in thanking the brave firefighters and emergency workers that have been dealing with the fires on Ilkley Moor and other moors nearby.

"They are overstretched, working hard in extremely difficult conditions to bring these damaging and dangerous fires under control, so can we have a debate on properly funding our fire services and crucially the importance of informing the public about fire prevention?"

In response, House of Commons leader Andrea Leadsom said: "I'll certainly join with the Honourable Lady in thanking and paying tribute to all those firefighters working so hard to put out fires and wildfires that are a problem right across the UK.

"She is right that we should do everything possible to ensure the public are aware of the risk of these wildfires and I would encourage her perhaps to seek an adjournment debate."

Mrs Cummins said after: "Our brave firefighters have done an amazing job tackling the fire over several days, and I am hugely greatly for their efforts, but they should not have to be as overstretched as they currently are.

"We cannot take risks with public safety, and the Ilkley Moor fire is a reminder of how essential our fire service is to our well-being.Huge fires are becoming more regular, so it’s about time fire services are given the funding they need to do their jobs."

Back in December, plans to slash £2.4 million from West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s budget were approved. Members of the West Yorkshire Fire Authority were assured that the changes would not lead to a reduction in the number of fire stations in the county, or the number of “front line” fire engines. Meanwhile, Keighley MP John Grogan described emergency services as playing a "blinder" in tackling the fires.

He said: "Protocols of how to work together in combating wildfires, which in recent years have been carefully agreed and trialled, worked a treat. So useful was the helicopter that it may be time for the Councils of Yorkshire to club together and sign a long-term contract with a helicopter company so that one is available within hours to deal with wildfires anywhere in God’s own county," he added.