Firefighters have been dealing with a number of wildfires across Scotland over the weekend

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By Susan Kerr

Firefighters across Scotland have been dealing with a number of incidents over the weekend.

Crews remain at the scene of a forest fire at Loch Doon, Dalmellington in Ayrshire after the call came in at 6.50pm on Saturday, April 13.

Operations Control mobilised three fire engines to the forest at Loch Doon, Dalmellington where firefighters continued to monitor overnight and to manage any potential spread.

The public have been advised to stay away from the area and nearby residents should keep their windows closed.

Crews are working alongside the Forestry Commission and Police Scotland and will remain on scene until the area is made safe.

A rest and welfare facility has been established in the community centre in Dalmellington for any local residents affected by the fire.

Assistant Chief Officer for Response and Resilience Lewis Ramsay said: “Our crews across Scotland have had a challenging weekend attending numerous incidents.

“Due to the outstanding collaborative working with land owners, The Forestry Commission and Police Scotland we have been able to ensure the safety of our communities.

“I would like to thank the wider community for their ongoing support, the hard work of our partners, and the crews on the ground for their tireless efforts.”

Firefighters are also still in attendance at a wildfire at Paul’s Hill wind farm near Aberlour.

A number of fire engines were mobilised to the area after the call came in at 10.50pm on Saturday, April 13.

A wildfire warning was issued in conjunction with the Scottish Wildfire Forum for this weekend.

Wild and grass fires can start by the careless disposal of cigarettes and barbecues or campfires left unattended.

They then have the potential to burn for days and devastate vast areas of land, wildlife and threaten the welfare of nearby communities - swallowing up emergency service resources.

SFRS Area Manager Bruce Farquharson is the chair of the Scottish Wildfire Forum.

He said: "We saw last year the devastating effect wildfires can have on communities and wildlife.

"The dry and warm weather we are currently experiencing means there is a heightened risk of wildfire across the country.

"Many rural and remote communities are hugely impacted by wildfires, which can cause significant environmental and economic damage.

"Livestock, farmland, wildlife, protected woodland and sites of special scientific interest can all be devastated by these fires - as can the lives of people living and working in rural communities."

The SFRS works closely with land managers, communities and other safety partners to prevent these incidents ever occurring.

Area Manager Farquharson continued: "At the start of spring there is often a lot of dead vegetation leftover from last year - this fuel can dry out quickly with higher temperatures and lower humidity levels.

"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.

"Wildfires are a major threat to our wildlife and wild places. We encourage people visiting the outdoors to be extra careful, and check the advice in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code before starting a fire.

"The public can help prevent wildfires by making sure they dispose of litter and smoking materials carefully while in rural areas."

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

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