Danger of wildfires this weekend after spate of countryside blazes

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service issued the warning as Scots are set to enjoy temperatures up to 17C.

Firefighters issue wildfire warning following blazes at Ben Lomond and in Highlands SFRS
Warning: SFRS urge public to take care as wildfires could occur due to rising temperatures.

A wildfire warning has been issued for parts of Scotland as the country is set to enjoy warm weather over the weekend. 

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) said the risk of wildfires occurring over the weekend was “very high” as temperatures are set to soar to 17C in the coming days. 

Dead grass, leaves, twigs and heather on the ground can dry quickly in light winds and when ignited, act as fuel which can spread wildfires over a wide area.

The warning comes as Scotland experienced two devastating wildfires during the week near Mallaig and on Ben Lomond. 

The blaze on Ben Lomond, which was reportedly started by a discarded cigarette, took fire crews two days to extinguish. 

SFRS said the warning has been put in place for the north east, central and southern parts of Scotland until Wednesday.

People who live, work or are visiting rural areas in particular are being urged to exercise the utmost caution to avoid fires breaking out.

SFRS group commander, Niall MacLennan said: “Numerous wildfires across Scotland this week, including large fires on Ben Lomond and near Mallaig have shown how real the danger of fire is in the countryside and how damaging it can be to the environment, wildlife and nearby communities.

“With rising temperatures this weekend and further dry conditions into next week, wildfires could burn and spread with very high intensity in high-risk areas.

“Therefore, we are asking people to act responsibly when enjoying the outdoors and please think twice before using anything involving a naked flame.”