Wildfires rage across ‘bone dry’ areas of Scotland

Firefighters are tackling multiple blazes across the Western Isles.

Wildfires rage across ‘bone dry’ areas of Scotland SFRS

Firefighters continue to struggle to bring wildfires under control across the Western Isles.

Fuelled by “bone dry” vegetation and strong winds, flames have spread over vast areas on Benbecula, the Isle of Harris, Barra and North Uist.

The fire at Market Stance, Balivanich, on Benbecula was first reported at 3.30pm on Wednesday and grew to cover a 1km stretch of land.

At 6.32am on Thursday, the fire service were called to an open fire on Harris which it said was a mile wide.

Smoke coming from behind Eabhal, North Uist (Michael Leather).

At 11.48am, the fire service attended after reports of a 1km wildfire at Brevig on Barra.

Crews continue to fight the flames, with further fires spotted on Skye and near Eaval on North Uist.

Area Commander Bruce Farquharson told STV News: “The countryside is very vulnerable to fire at this time of year which seems counterintuitive with the air temperature and the weather that we have, but this is when we see some challenging fires because the vegetation is bone dry and it just takes the slightest ignition source and we can see some challenging fires.”

Benbecula wildfire, February 11, satellite image (NASA and Google Earth via Dr Thomas Smith @DrTELS).
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