Several wildfires already burning in Scotland
Dry and warm weather has increased the threat of fire across north Scotland, and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to be aware of an increased wildfire risk this week, reports the Hebride News.
Fire crews in the towns of Lewis and Harris were stretched to the limit tackling simultaneous moorland wildfires in various locations on Wednesday.
All of Scotland faced a heightened wildfire threat on Friday.
The Scottish Wildfire Forum and Scottish Fire & Rescue Services issued a public warning that lasted until Saturday.
SFRS area manager Bruce Farquharson said to the newspaper that wildfires can have a “devastating” effect on communities and wildlife.
He added: "The dry and warm weather we are currently experiencing means there is a heightened risk of wildfire across the country this week.
"Many rural and remote communities are hugely impacted by wildfires, which can cause significant environmental and economic damage.
Area manager Farquharson believes human behaviour can go a long way towards lowering the risk of wildfire.
"Grass and wildfires are a common risk at this time of year when warmer weather dries out vegetation – especially dead winter foliage – which offers an ample fuel source.
"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."
He continued: "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 that they don’t increase the chance of wildfire – be aware of the risks and follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.
"Wildfires are a major threat to our wildlife and wild places. We encourage people visiting the outdoors to be extra careful, and check the advice in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code before starting a fire.
"The public can help prevent wildfires by making sure they dispose of litter and smoking materials carefully while in rural areas."
For further advice and information about wildfires and how to prevent them visit: www.firescotland.gov.uk or www.outdooraccess-scotland.com/
Cover Photo: England, Scotland and northern Ireland. Dry weather conditions sparked fires to burn in parts of England, Scotland and northern Ireland as seen (as red dots) in this image, taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite. The image shows conditions on May 2, 2011 at 11:50 UTC (7:50 a.m. EDT). Photo: NASA