Crews attend wild­fires

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - News - Ju­dith Ton­ner

Wild­fires oc­curred in Plains and Sals­burgh last week as sum­mer tem­per­a­tures soared.

Fire en­gines rushed to Ste­pends Road in Plains to attend to a grass fire on Mon­day af­ter­noon; while four crews tack­led a“large grass and heath­land fire”at Dun­til­land Road 24 hours later.

Var­i­ous crews re­mained in place at the Sals­burgh scene for four days, with the blaze and sub­se­quent“flare-ups” fi­nally be­ing ex­tin­guished on Fri­day.

No ca­su­al­ties were re­ported as a re­sult of ei­ther blaze.

The Scot­tish Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice has had a wild­fire warn­ing in place for over a week, ex­tend­ing it last Wed­nes­day to cover the pe­riod up to and in­clud­ing today due to con­tin­u­ing “dry and breezy weather”.

Glen McCourt­ney cap­tured these im­ages of the smok­ing scenes in Mon­k­lands from his home in Calder­cruix, say­ing:“It could be seen for miles.”

He told the Ad­ver­tiser:“It was quite a big fire, with smoke com­ing over the hill and all the marsh­land on fire.”

A spokesman for the Scot­tish Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice (SFRS) said:“The ser­vice was alerted to re­ports of a grass fire near Plains.

“Op­er­a­tions Con­trol mo­bilised three fire en­gines to the scene at Ste­pends Road, where crews ex­tin­guished the flames; fire­fight­ers re­turned to the scene at 7.20am the fol­low­ing day to en­sure the area re­mained safe.”

He said of the Sals­burgh in­ci­dent: “SFRS was alerted at 3.29pm last Tues­day to re­ports of a large grass and heath­land fire near Sals­burgh.

“Four fire en­gines were mo­bilised to Dun­til­land Road, where crews worked to bring the fire un­der con­trol.

“Two en­gines re­turned to the scene at 9am the fol­low­ing day, and a sin­gle fire en­gine will re­main at the scene un­til the area is made safe.”

SRFS said that four crews were sent again to the scene on Thurs­day morn­ing, af­ter an in­spec­tion showed fur­ther fire flare-ups at the scene, and added:“Crews left af­ter ex­tin­guish­ing the fire on Fri­day at 8.36pm.”

Ex­tend­ing the wild­fire warn­ing, area man­ager Bruce Far­quhar­son said:“As the warm and dry weather con­tin­ues, so too does the risk of wild­fire.

“We have seen in re­cent weeks just how large these fires can be­come; live­stock, farm­land, wildlife, pro­tected wood­land and sites of spe­cial sci­en­tific in­ter­est can all be dev­as­tated, as can the lives of peo­ple liv­ing and work­ing in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties.

“It’s cru­cial that peo­ple act safely and re­spon­si­bly in ru­ral en­vi­ron­ments and follow the coun­try­side code.

“We’re ap­peal­ing to peo­ple to take great care – just one heat source like a camp­fire em­ber can cause it to ig­nite, and if the wind changes di­rec­tion even the small­est fire can spread un­con­trol­lably.”

Alarm­ing wild­fire as seen from Calder­cruix

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