Fire safety experts urge ‘don’t start an Easter blaze’

Fire chiefs have issued a national warning on the risk of wildfires over Easter weekend, after outbreaks in areas from the Highlands to Ayrshire.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 20th April 2019, 4:15 pm
Updated Saturday, 20th April 2019, 4:19 pm

In conjunction with the Scottish Wildfire Forum the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to be especially careful in countryside areas.

A spokesman said: “As the warm and dry weather continues, so too does the risk of wildfire.

“We have seen in the last week just how challenging these fires can become - many rural and remote communities are hugely impacted by these incidents, which can cause significant environmental and economic damage.

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“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”.

He added: “Just one heat source like a campfire ember can cause it to ignite, and if the wind changes direction even the smallest fire can spread uncontrollably and devastate entire hillsides.”

SFRS Area Manager Bruce Farquharson, who chairs the Scottish Wildfire Forum, said: “At the start of spring there is often a lot of dead vegetation leftover from last year - this fuel can dry out quickly with higher temperatures and lower humidity levels.

“A great many people will be enjoying the outdoors in the good weather this weekend

“We urge everyone to make sure they don’t increase the chance of wildfire – be aware of the risks and follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.”