'Very high’ risk of wildfires across Scotland amid record temperatures

The warning is in place across eastern and southern parts of the country until Friday.

Warning of ‘very high’ risk of wildfires across Scotland as heatwave continues SFRS

There is a “very high” risk of wildfires across the country amid soaring temperatures, the fire service has warned.

It comes after six appliances were called out to a farm fire near Kelso, which started around lunchtime on Tuesday.

The incident was brought under control and no injuries were reported.

The warning is in place across eastern and southern Scotland until Friday, July 22.

Wildfires are at higher risk after a new record temperature of 35.1C on Tuesday saw Scotland experience its hottest ever day, according to official figures.

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Temperatures soared across the country which saw the previous record high exceeded by 2.2C at Floors Castle in the Borders.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) said wildfires can spread rapidly and burn for days, threatening lives and livelihoods.

Bruce Farquharson, deputy assistant chief officer with SFRS said: “In a prolonged period of high temperatures, the risk of wildfires breaking out increases significantly.

“At this time of year, the ground vegetation is a combination of green growth, with a relatively high moisture content, and dead vegetation lying on top which can easily ignite and spread quickly over a large area.

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“Weather patterns this week show that eastern and southern Scotland are at ‘very high’ risk of wildfires but, with sensible precautions, the public can play a crucial part in prevention.

“Taking some simple steps can prevent vast damage to the environment and protect emergency service workers from attending avoidable incidents.

“During the next few days, I would urge the public to avoid lighting fires outdoors altogether but if you must, check for restrictions or permissions required by the landowner and make sure you use a fire safe pit or container that can be properly extinguished before you leave.

“We need people to be aware of how quickly things can get out of hand – the smallest outdoor ignition can spread rapidly and burn for days.

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