Firefighters praised for response to Mar Lodge Estate wildfire, Braemar

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At its height, ten appliances two forestry units and a water carrier were involved and around 65 firefighters

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Firefighters were alerted at around 1.30pm yesterday (18 June 2014) following reports of a wildfire in the area around Derry Lodge on the Mar Lodge Estate, Braemar.

At its height, ten appliances from across the north of Scotland, along with two forestry units and a water carrier attended the incident.

Around 65 firefighters and estate workers from the National Trust for Scotland were involved in the firefighting operation supported by a helicopter.

The fire was brought under control within four hours.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Area Manager Duncan Smith said: "Our firefighters, working tirelessly alongside local estate workers, did a magnificent job to limit fire spread and the environmental impact from this incident.

"We received excellent support from our colleagues in the National Trust for Scotland who own and manage the Mar Lodge estate.

"Although working on very challenging terrain our firefighters manage to mitigate damage to approximately eight hectares of mixed moorland and mature woodland."

Whilst the cause of this fire is still to be determined it is not being treated as suspicious and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service would like to issue a timely reminder to all who enjoy Scotland’s stunning countryside.

SFRS Wildfire Project Manager Garry Burnett said: "Recent warm weather has increased the risk of outdoor fires. Protecting the countryside from wildfires demands that everyone recognises the risk and takes responsibility for preventing fires breaking out in the countryside and areas of grassland.

He continued: "The dry weather at this time of year means a heightened risk of wildfire in areas of grass, heather and woodland. We want to make as many people aware of this to ensure they don’t cause a fire that could have devastating results."

Many people will be enjoying the countryside at this time of year and SFRS wants to ensure everyone bears safety in mind and is aware of their responsibilities.

Garry added: "We would urge communities, tourists and visitors to be aware of the increased risk of wildfires at this time and make sure they act responsibly in a countryside environment.

"Simple measures such as making sure smoking materials are always properly disposed of and only having BBQs or campfires in safe places can help protect the countryside from potentially devastating wildfires."

People visiting the countryside can find more information on how to act responsibly and help prevent wildfires by checking out the Scottish Outdoor Access Code 

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service want everyone to Join Scotland’s Fight against Fire and we are urging communities, tourists and visitors to be aware of the heightened risk of wildfire at this time of year.

Additional information:

* Mar Lodge Estate occupies nearly 7% of the Cairngorms National Park, covers some of the most remote and scenic wild land in Scotland, including four of the five highest mountains in the UK

* Fifteen of the Trust's 46 Munros can be found in the Cairngorms around Mar Lodge

* Within its boundaries are fine examples of classic features of a Highland landscape: remnants of the ancient Caledonian pine forest, heather moorland, juniper scrub and a part of the high Cairngorm plateau

* The estate is recognised as one of the most important nature conservation landscapes in the British Isles: over 40% of the estate is covered by national and international nature conservation designations.

(Source: The National Trust for Scotland)