Emer­gency crews bat­tle wild­fires at weekend

The Oban Times - - News -

FIRE­FIGHT­ERS fought to take con­trol of a num­ber of wild fires that broke out across Lochaber at the weekend, writes El­lie Forbes.

A fire in Glen Etive, as men­tioned on page one, caused sig­nif­i­cant dam­age to the area on Sun­day.

Mark Shone from Glen Etive Es­tate said they had been left with­out a phone af­ter the fire melted their line, and there had been wildlife dam­age with birds nests be­ing de­stroyed.

He added: ‘ Our worry just now is how dry the weather is, but rain is fore­cast for the weekend which will hope­fully help.’

Last month The Scot­tish Wild­fire Fo­rum is­sued a warn­ing say­ing the risk of wild­fire is at its high­est at this time of the year.

SWF said: ‘ The Scot­tish Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice is al­ready work­ing closely with land man­agers and ap­peal­ing to tourists and com­mu­ni­ties to help re­duce the num­ber fires in a bid to pro­tect the coun­try­side and its res­i­dents.’

A fire and res­cue spokesman said: ‘At 1pm on Sun­day May 7, the Scot­tish Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice was alerted to a wild­fire in Glen Etive.

‘A to­tal of six ap­pli­ances were sub­se­quently mo­bilised with fire­fight­ers us­ing beat­ers and wa­ter back­packs to tackle the fire, which af­fected ap­prox­i­mately 80 acres of land.

‘The flames were ex­tin­guished, how­ever, crews were alerted at 12.34pm the fol­low­ing day to a sep­a­rate wild­fire in the area.

‘Two ap­pli­ances were mo­bilised and crews ex­tin­guished the flames with beat­ers and wa­ter back­packs.

‘There were no ca­su­al­ties at ei­ther in­ci­dent and fire­fight­ers left af­ter en­sur­ing the area was made safe.’

Fire crews were alerted to another fire on Sun­day at 1pm north of In­ver­char­nan, Bal- lachul­ish. Six fire ap­pli­ances were sent from Spean Bridge and Fort Wil­liam to tackle the blaze which stretched across 80 acres of land.

The spokesper­son said: ‘There were no ca­su­al­ties and crews left the scene at 8.40pm af­ter en­sur­ing the safety of the area.’

A third fire broke out on Sun­day near Leven Road, Kin­lochleven, at 10.58am.

One fire en­gine re­sponded, us­ing beat­ers and wa­ter back­packs to con­trol the flames.

‘At its height a fire front of ap­prox­i­mately 25 me­tres was spread across a steep hill­side,’ said the fire and res­cue spokesper­son. ‘There were no ca­su­al­ties and fire­fight­ers left the scene at 2.30pm af­ter en­sur­ing the area was made safe.’

Pho­to­graph: Dave Thomas.

The fire that broke out in Glen Etive on Sun­day.

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