Extreme wildfire warning in place across north of Scotland

An ‘extreme’ wildfire warning has been issued by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service in Inverness-shire and across large parts of northern Scotland as the weather pattern over the next few days is dominated by high-pressure.

At this time of year, in mid-Spring, there is a lot of dead vegetation left over from last year which can dry very quickly and act as fuel for wildfires to spread.

The warning is in place for Saturday 11 May and much of the rest of Scotland remains at ‘very high’ risk due to a combination of high temperatures, low humidity and strengthening winds.

Group Commander Niall MacLennan, a SFRS wildfire tactical advisor, urged those entering Scotland’s countryside this week to act with caution and avoid any naked flames.

He said: “Over the weekend, the risk of wildfire is very real due to the higher temperatures and forecast low relative humidity.

“This contributes significantly to drying and lowering of moisture content in fine fuels, which are predominant in our countryside.

“If a naked flame comes into contact with this vegetation, it will act as a fuel and could spread rapidly.

“We know how damaging wildfires can be to the environment, wildlife and nearby communities and they place a significant demand on our emergency service.

“Human behaviour plays a significant role in preventing wildfires and clearly with this spell of warm weather, we anticipate large volumes of people will enter the countryside this weekend.

“We must ask that people behave responsibly and to please think twice before using any naked flames.”