Highlands & Islands

Firefighters tackling major wildfire near Dornoch

Smoke visible above the trees Image copyright Chris Cogan

Firefighters have been dealing with a major wildfire in Sutherland in the Highlands.

Five appliances have been sent to an area near Dornoch treatment works where grass and gorse bushes were ablaze.

Crews have also been called to heath and grass fires near Shawbost on Lewis and Onich in Lochaber.

The incidents come after a warning of an increased threat of wildfires in parts of Scotland over the next few days.

Image copyright Chris Cogan
Image copyright SFRS
Image caption Firefighters at the scene of the wildfire near Dornoch

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) and the Scottish Wildfire Forum (SWF) issued the warning.

Fire crews from Dornoch, Tain, Lairg, Balintore and Dingwall have been at the scene of the wildfire in Sutherland.

The alarm was raised at 12:37.

Earlier SFRS and SWF said dry windy weather and large quantities of dead vegetation, such as heather and pine needles, had heightened the chance of wildfires.

The warning of the increased risk is in place until 13 April.

Image copyright Michael Bruce
Image caption The wildfire risk is mapped by the European Commission

SFRS and SWF use data from the European Commission's European Forest Fire Information System.

Forum chairman Andy Coueslant said: "We are now well within what has traditionally been known as wildfire season.

"We are looking to raise awareness and reduce the number of wildfire incidents across the country.

Vice chairman Michael Bruce added: "There are places with dead vegetation such as pine needles or heather litter.

"Temperatures are rising significantly and with the high pressure forecast to stay over large parts of the UK up to the weekend, relative humidity is low.

"These conditions will dry fuels significantly and increase the risk of wildfire."

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