'Very high' grade wildfire warning extended as firefighters tackle blaze

The warning has been extended across much of Scotland until Monday June 5.

A wildfire warning has been extended as firefighters continue to tackle a huge blaze in the Highlands.

The warning, which has been in place since Friday amid a spell of hot weather, has been extended across much of Scotland until Monday June 5.

The warning, which has been graded as ‘very high’ as the warm weather forecast continues, covers the majority of East, Central and Southern Scotland.

It comes as firefighters continue to tackle a large-scale wildfire measuring approximately 8km x 8km.

The ongoing wildfire at Cannich near Inverness is entering its fourth day, after the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) was alerted on Sunday, May 18 at 12.46pm. 

Firefighters had previously attended fires at the same area on four separate occasions since Tuesday, 23 May.

While responding to the incident on Tuesday, two firefighters sustained injuries after an all-terrain vehicle they were travelling in was involved in an accident. 

Both were transported via air ambulance to hospital for treatment and they have now been released from hospital.

The SFRS said that an investigation is ongoing into what happened.

At its height, nine appliances were mobilised to the incident, as well as a helicopter to water bomb the affected area. 

Four appliances and specialist resources remain at the scene on Wednesday, May 31.

Members of the public in the area are being asked not to walk their dogs near where the helicopters are releasing water as a safety precaution, and to close their windows and doors.

Firefighters are also appealing to people to take great care when outdoors during the wildfire warning period. It is crucial that people act safely and responsibly in rural environments and follow the countryside code.

SFRS group commander Niall MacLennan said: “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.

“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.

“Many of our rural and remote communities are hugely impacted by these incidents, which can cause significant environmental and economic damage.”

He added: “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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