Moray firefighters issue fire safety call to forest visitors this summer

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Firefighters from Elgin, Buckie and Lossiemouth are teaming up with officers from Forestry and Land Scotland and Police Scotland this weekend to highlight fire safety advice for visitors to Roseisle Forest, Moray.

As visits to local beauty spots start to increase members of the public will be being reminded of the dangers of barbecues and camp fires at an Outdoor Fire Safety event on Saturday, 19 June 2021.

Fire appliances and other specialist vehicles and equipment including an all-terrain vehicle and water carrier will be on show between 10.00am and 3.00pm and visitors will learn how to stay safe and enjoy the outdoors this summer.

Watch Commander Gareth Luce of Elgin Fire Station said: "Visitor numbers are picking up here, and at other popular local destinations, as restrictions continue to ease and we want people to have an enjoyable and safe experience outdoors.  

“We are asking visitors to make sure campfires and barbecues are lit in a fire safe pit or container, are always attended, and are fully extinguished before leaving.  Smokers are reminded to extinguish cigarettes and dispose of them.

“Just one ember can start a fire which has the potential to burn for days and can be devastating for communities, wildlife and farmland and at the same time places a strain on emergency services.

“Human behaviour can significantly lower the chance of a fire starting, and we are asking visitors to this forest and the others across Moray to always follow onsite signage, to act safely and responsibly in the outdoors, and always follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.”

Fiona Robertson, Area Visitor Services Manager, Forestry and Land Scotland said: “Moray has a wealth of forests to enjoy and at a time when lots of people are having a staycation we want these forests to remain safe and be enjoyed by all.  But we share the same safety concerns as our colleagues in the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and encourage visitors to heed their advice. We want people to enjoy our beauty spots, by acting responsibly and avoiding unnecessary risks.”

More information on fire safety and the Scottish Outdoor Access Code is available from https://www.outdooraccess-scotland.scot/practical-guide-all/camping/lighting-fires

Image shows a gorse fire at Hopeman Beach, Burghead, Moray in 2018 when more than 30 firefighters worked for over 8 hours to contain and extinguish the blaze.

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