Tags: wildfire

Wildfire warning expanded throughout Scotland as highland blaze rages on


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The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) continues its tireless efforts to extinguish a large-scale Highland wildfire, measuring approximately 8km x 8km, near Cannich. This ongoing effort marks the fourth day of firefighting, with crews first alerted on Sunday, 28 May, at 12.46pm. The same area had been previously attended by firefighters on four separate occasions since Tuesday, 23 May.

In response to the continued warm weather forecast, a ‘very high’ wildfire warning that commenced on Friday, 26 May, has now been extended to Monday, 5 June. The warning covers the majority of East, Central, and Southern Scotland, raising concerns over the potential escalation of wildfire incidents.

Two firefighters were injured during the ongoing operation when an all-terrain vehicle accident occurred. Both firefighters were promptly air-lifted to a hospital and have now been discharged. An investigation into the incident is currently underway.

At the peak of the operation, nine firefighting appliances were mobilised along with a helicopter to water bomb the affected area. As of Wednesday, 31 May, four appliances and specialist resources remain at the scene.

With safety as a primary concern, the public is requested to avoid dog-walking near helicopter operations, and to keep their windows and doors closed. The firefighters further appeal to the public to exercise caution when outdoors during the extended wildfire warning period. Adherence to the countryside code is strongly encouraged.

The risk of wildfire

SFRS Group Commander Niall MacLennan emphasised the severe threat posed by such wildfires: “As the warm and dry weather continues, so too does the risk of wildfire. The ongoing incident at Cannich shows just how large these fires can become.”

MacLennan further elaborated on the wildfire’s potential origins: “A mixture of seasonal weather conditions combined with very dry and dead vegetation means there is a heightened risk of fires, which can be started by the careless disposal of cigarettes as well as barbecues or campfires left unattended.”

Highlighting the impact of these incidents on the local communities, MacLennan added: “Many of our rural and remote communities are hugely impacted by these incidents, which can cause significant environmental and economic damage.”

In terms of the ongoing firefighting efforts at Cannich, MacLennan concluded: “Cannich has been a challenging incident and our crews are working tirelessly to tackle the fire and stop further spread. Extinguishing a fire on this scale requires a large amount of resources, including the use of helicopters to bolster our response. We will remain on scene until we make the area safe.”

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