Firefighters tackle significant Highland wildfire amidst ongoing safety warnings

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Members of the public are being urged to play their part in preventing further potentially devastating fires

Wild Fire Pic 2 (002)Firefighters across the Highlands are working tirelessly to tackle a significant wildfire in the Balmacara area in Lochalsh.

Crews remain in attendance on Wednesday, May 30, where the large fire first took hold at 2.51pm on Tuesday, May 29.

Firefighters continue to work with water and beaters to contain and tackle the flames.
A helicopter has also been drafted in this morning to water bomb the area.

This follows a further three challenging wildfires across the Highlands and Islands area, all of which took hold on the morning of Sunday, May 27.

Operations Control mobilised a number of resources to Achintee in Strathcarron at 6.58am, to the Sligachan to Carbost area of the Isle of Skye at 9.51am and to the Torridon area at 10.30am.

All three of these wildfires at have now been extinguished.

Area Manager Bruce Farquharson is Chair of the Scottish Wildfire Forum.

He said: “I would like to take this opportunity to praise the outstanding efforts of our firefighters across the Highlands and Islands over the last few days.

“Their swift and professional response – working quickly and effectively in difficult conditions – has led to three large and challenging wildfires being extinguished.”

A warning for an increased risk of wildfires is in place across Scotland until Thursday, May 31.

Members of the public are being urged to play their part in preventing further potentially devastating fires.

AM Farquharson added: “Many rural and remote communities are hugely impacted by wildfires, which can cause significant environmental and economic damage.

“Livestock, farmland, wildlife, protected woodland and sites of special scientific interest can all be devastated by these fires – as can the lives of people living and working in rural communities.

“A great many people will be enjoying the outdoors in the good weather, we urge everyone to make sure that they don’t increase the chance of wildfire – be aware of the risks and follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

“Wild and grass fires can start by the careless disposal of cigarettes and barbecues or campfires left unattended.

“They then have the potential to burn for days and devastate vast areas of land, wildlife and threaten the welfare of nearby communities.

“Human behaviour can significantly lower the chance of a wildfire starting so it’s crucial people act safely and responsibly in rural environments and follow the countryside code.”

The SFRS works closely with land managers, communities and other safety partners to prevent these incidents ever occurring.

AM Farquharson continued: “Right now, many firefighters across Scotland are actively tackling wildfires, working to protect our communities and their efforts have to be commended.

“However, many of these fires are preventable, and we again urge people to read our safety advice, and enjoy the weather responsibly.”

Please call 101 with any information relating to wild fires. In an emergency always call 999.

For further advice and information about wildfires and how to prevent them visit: /your-safety/wildfires.aspx  or www.outdooraccess-scotland.com/

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