The public have been urged to exercise caution over the weekend following a warning of ‘extreme’ wildfire.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has urged people who live in or may enter rural environments in the coming days to exercise caution.
The ‘extreme’ warning, released in conjunction with the Scottish Wildfire Forum, covers southern and central parts of the country and will remain in place until Monday.
A very high risk of wildfire is also in place across north west Scotland from April 23 to 25.
Wildfires have the potential to burn for days and devastate vast areas of land and wildlife, as well as threaten the welfare of nearby communities.
On Wednesday more than 30 firefighters were called to tackle a huge wildfire near an army barracks in the Highlands.
Emergency services were called to the scene at Fort George, near Ardersier, at around 1.35pm.
The fire burned through gorse by the coast on the Moray Firth with four appliances mobilised along with an all-terrain unit. The blaze covered an area hundreds of meters wide.
Local senior officer Bruce Farquharson said: “We are asking the public to exercise extreme caution and think twice before using anything involving a naked flame.
“Many rural and remote communities are hugely impacted by wildfires, which can cause significant damage.
“Livestock, farmland, wildlife, protected woodland and sites of special scientific interest can all be devastated by these fires – as can the lives of people living and working in rural communities.
“These fires can also have a hugely negative impact on the environment and the release of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.
“Human behaviour can significantly lower the chance of a wildfire starting, so it is crucial that people act safely and responsibly in rural environments, and always follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.”
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