Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Wildfire Incidents - Highlands & Islands

Photo: Greg Little
There are an increasing number of wildfires in the Highlands & Islands of Scotland.  The Scottish Fire & Rescue service (a single fire service since, yesterday) has reported that at 12:30 today they were tackling 6 wildfires:

Banavie near Fort William
  • The wildfire at Banavie has been extinguished and is under control. Crews are in attendance to maintain a watching brief and check for any hot spots. 
  • At its height, there was a 3 mile fire front with 8 appliances and 50 personnel who worked throughout the night to control the fire. 
Morar near Mallaig
  • There is currently a large fire front with and crews in attendance who are making good progress in dealing with this heath and moorland fire. 
  • There is a significant fire with crews in attendance currently assessing the risk to property with an Officer mobilised to assist in the incident management. 
  • There is a heath and moorland fire in the hills around this area. Crews are assessing the wildfire and the risk to properties in the area. 
  • The wildfire at Lochinver is under control. Crews remain in attendance to monitor the incident. 
  • There is an ongoing wildfire with crews in attendance to deal with the incident.
I was near Oban yesterday and can confirm that conditions were very, very dry.  I expect that the conditions further north are as bad if not drier.  The easterly wind was very blustery, which would make it very difficult to predict the behaviour of a fire.  

At the risk of generalising, but based on the conditions I saw, and these wildfire reports, I think it most unlikely that conditions are suitable for muirburn anywhere in the north and west of Scotland.  Great caution must be exercised before lighting fires for any purpose.  

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