The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)

Wildfire fears over careless campers

Bruar: Fire crew races to put out blaze as beauty spot trashed by louts

- JAMIE BUCHAN

Campers sparked fears of a second major Highland Perthshire wildfire when they left a bonfire burning at a popular beauty spot.

Just days after a huge blaze raged across woodlands near Pitlochry, emergency crews were scrambled to the Falls of Bruar at Blair Atholl.

Police found a trail of debris and destructio­n, including an abandoned shopping trolley filled with camping gear and empty beer cans.

Atholl Estate, which owns the site, said a clear-up and repairs operation is now under way.

It is understood the party had driven past a locked gate to reach the viewpoint.

Revellers who dumped a shopping trolley full of abandoned camping gear and left a bonfire burning at a Perthshire beauty spot are being hunted by police.

Firefighte­rs were scrambled to the Falls of Bruar, near Blair Atholl, to extinguish a small fire left behind by a camping party.

Investigat­ors found a supermarke­t trolley overflowin­g with empty beer cans, folding chairs, cooler boxes and clothing.

Other debris was found strewn around the site. The landowners, Atholl Estates, feared the small blaze could have sparked another wildfire, similar to the one that raged across land near Pitlochry last week.

Police have urged witnesses who may have seen the party driving along the popular woodland trail to get in touch.

A social media statement posted by Atholl Fishing said: “The Falls of Bruar on Atholl Estates is a lovely, well-known beauty spot. Unfortunat­ely, at the weekend a large group decided to drive round a locked gate up to the Falls viewpoint (too lazy to walk) and set up camp.”

The spokesman added: “Given recent weather and forest fires, most people would not be so stupid as to light a bonfire in the woods but this group did.

“It was extinguish­ed by the local fire brigade who were called out by concerned walkers. This group left all their rubbish, clothing, shopping trolley, sleeping bags, dozens of bottles and cans and all sorts of other rubbish.

“Estate staff will need to clean it all up and repair the damage caused.”

Julia Sim, sales and marketing manager at Atholl Estates, said: “Atholl Estates welcomes all visitors who follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and who respect our beautiful countrysid­e.

“Unfortunat­ely, in this case this has not been adhered to and we are working with the police in their investigat­ions.”

The Falls of Bruar is a popular destinatio­n for hill walkers.

Robert Burns famously visited the area in 1787 and wrote the Humble Petition of Bruar Water as a request to the fourth Duke of Atholl to surround the falls with trees.

 ??  ?? A policeman inspects the rubbish, with the remains of the bonfire in the background. Fire chiefs issued warnings on the risk of wildfires after recent incidents in the region.
A policeman inspects the rubbish, with the remains of the bonfire in the background. Fire chiefs issued warnings on the risk of wildfires after recent incidents in the region.
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 ??  ?? A police spokesman has urged anyone with informatio­n about the bonfire and dumped rubbish to call them on 101.
A police spokesman has urged anyone with informatio­n about the bonfire and dumped rubbish to call them on 101.

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