Hill­side blaz­ing

Dry con­di­tions prov­ing a fire risk

West Lothian Courier - - Front Page - Sean SeanO’Neil O’Neil

Around 55 fire­fight­ers tack­led a wild­fire that blazed in West Loth­ian for five days.

Scot­tish Fire and Res­cue crews were scram­bled along with six fire en­gines to Falla Hill Place in Fauld­house when the alarm was first raised at 5.08pm on Wed­nes­day, June 27.

Those crews worked through the night to tackle the flames which had taken hold of a 200 me­tre-wide area of wood­land.

A fur­ther three fire en­gines were mo­bilised to the scene on Thurs­day.

Around 50 fire­fight­ers and nine fire en­gines re­mained at the scene on Fri­day af­ter work­ing through­out a sec­ond night.

Fire­fight­ers con­tin­ued to tackle the blaze on Satur­day be­fore it was even­tu­ally ex­tin­guished on Sun­day.

A spokes­woman for the Scot­tish Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice said: “The fire was ex­tin­guished at 12.15pm on Sun­day, July 1.

“Fire­fight­ers en­sured the area was made safe be­fore leav­ing the scene at 12.35pm.

“The area was there­after trans­ferred to the con­trol of the Forestry Com­mis­sion.”

There were no ca­su­al­ties caused by the fire and pupils and staff from Falla Hill Pri­mary kept fire­fight­ers go­ing with food and drink.

A wild­fire warn­ing re­mained in place un­til Mon­day, July 2.

Dur­ing last month’s warn­ing, fire­fight­ers worked to ex­tin­guish a se­ries of wild­fires that swept across the High­lands and Is­lands as well as Arthur’s Seat in Ed­in­burgh.

Group man­ager Mark Bryce was the of­fi­cer in charge of the Fauld­house in­ci­dent.

Speak­ing dur­ing the blaze on Fri­day Mr Bryce said: “The crews have been work­ing ef­fec­tively through­out the night and we are con­tin­u­ing to stop fur­ther spread­ing of the fire.

“We will re­main on scene for the rest of the day to ex­tin­guish it as soon as pos­si­ble.

“I would like to ex­press a sin­cere thank you to our crews on the ground and our fire­fight­ers in Op­er­a­tions Con­trol for con­tin­u­ing to ef­fec­tively co-or­di­nate our re­sources.

“I would also like to thank our part­ners and the wider lo­cal com­mu­nity for their out­stand­ing sup­port.”

“I would like to say thank you to not only our part­ners but to the wider lo­cal com­mu­nity for their truly out­stand­ing sup­port.”

The wider wild­fire warn­ing cur­rently in place across Scot­land was flagged on Wed­nes­day, June 27.

SFRS area man­ager Bruce Far­quhar­son is the chair of the Scot­tish Wild­fire Fo­rum.

He said: “Grass and wild­fires are a com­mon risk at this time of year when warmer weather dries out veg­e­ta­tion – es­pe­cially dead win­ter fo­liage – which of­fers an am­ple fuel source.

“Just one heat source can cause it to ig­nite and if the wind changes di­rec­tion even the small­est fire can spread un­con­trol­lably and dev­as­tate en­tire hill­sides.”

He added: “A great many peo­ple will be en­joy­ing the out­doors in the good weather this week­end, we urge ev­ery­one to make sure that they don’t in­crease the chance of wild­fire – be aware of the risks and fol­low the Scot­tish Out­door Ac­cess Code.

For fur­ther ad­vice and in­for­ma­tion about wild­fires and how to pre­vent them visit: www.firescot­land.gov.uk or www.out­doorac­cess-scot­land.com/

Fight­ing the flames Fire­fight­ers worked at the scene un­til Sun­day

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.