These two satellite imageshave been cut out of a Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-View Sensor (SeaWiFS) scene oflast Friday, 18 April 2003. Heavy smoke columns indicate the locations of thefirst forest, moor and heathland fires.
18 April 2003
Image showing the above mentioned fires in higher resolution.
20. April 2003
Forest fires continue to rage
Firefighres have been using helicopters to water-bomb blazes Firefighters in the Highlands arebattling to control several forest fires, some of which have been burning sinceThursday.
Crews across the country are hoping forrain as resources are stretched to the limit.
Parts of the Ardnamurchan peninsula onthe west coast are still well alight despite the efforts of firefighters overthe last three days. The blaze covers an area of more than 45 square kilometres(28 square miles). Crews have been brought in from up to 50 miles away, and arebeing supported by local volunteers and estate workers. Highlands and IslandsFire Brigade assistant firemaster Hugh Henny said it was proving difficult tocontrol because of the remoteness and the terrain. He said the firefighters,many of whom are reserved or auxiliary crew, have been working in”exhausting conditions”. Another difficulty is the lack of watersupplies to tackle the remote forest and moorland fires. “That is why werely heavily at this point in time on helicopter water-bombing,” Mr Henrysaid. “We back that up with men on the ground who after the water-bombingrun has been undertaken follow up with beaters to try to knock the fire down inthat way. “So it is a very difficult task the firefighters face on theground.”
Fire crews across Scotland have beenat full stretch tackling blazes which have destroyed thousands of acres offorest and moorland.
Firefighters in Ayrshire worked roundthe clock to tackle a forest fire near Darvel – the biggest of its kind in thearea for decades. In the Highlands, firefighters have been very busy, dealingwith more than 200 incidents. A brigade spokesman said one particular fire atSalen on the Ardnamurchan point in Lochaber was very large. A helicopterwater-bombed the blaze, which has a 10 mile (16 kilometre) front, and officershave been protecting about 10 nearby homes from flames. Two moor fires on theWestern Isles at Barvas Moor and Leverburgh were also causing problems. Theblaze in Leverburgh, on the Isle of Harris, threatened homes on Friday night,but a change in wind direction removed the immediate danger. In Ayrshire, theblaze on Loudon Hill, which began late on Thursday, covered 12 square miles (20square kilometres). Four helicopters dropped waterbombs on the flames.Firefighters said the blaze was under control but warned that flames could flareup again if dry weather continues. Both commercial woodland and grouse moor weredestroyed by the blaze, causing damage estimated at millions of pounds.Strathclyde Fire Brigade divisional officer Donald Harvie said: “With anyfire in the countryside in this area, we have problems with water supplies, wehave problems with accessibility, and indeed the flames would be fanned by thehigh winds.”
Huge moorland blaze tackled –Firecrews have been damping down at the scene of a fire that has devastated a hugearea of moorland in West Yorkshire.
The blaze destroyed approximately fivesquare miles of countryside in Wainstalls, near Halifax. Dryweather and high temperatures have been blamed for the moorland fire – thesecond to hit the region in a week. Anarea of two square miles of moorland was destroyed by fire in Marsden, WestYorkshire, on Sunday 13 April. HalifaxFire Station spokesman Craig Mallinson said they had brought the fire undercontrol, but were still hoping for a change in the weather. “Temperatureshave been hotter than Spain so that is why we’re getting these grass fires. “Thefire is still ongoing but the weather has got a lot colder so hopefully thefires will start dying down.” “We’rehoping for a bit of rain because all of our resources are being used at themoment – we need them for other fires.