Firefighters in the Highlands are battling to control several forest fires.Crews across the country are hoping for rain as resources are stretched to the limit.Parts of the Ardnamurchan peninsula on the west coast are still well alight despite the efforts of firefighters over the past five days.
The blaze covers an area of more than 45 square kilometres (28 square miles).Helicopters are again water bombing the area.Rain is likely to move north during Monday according to forecasters, although Scotland had a dry night on Sunday as firefighters continued to battle the flames.Firefighters have been working long periods in torrid and exhausting conditionsHugh Henny Highland and Islands Fire Brigade
Firefighters have been battling the fires over the weekend after a sustained period of dry weather created blaze conditions.High winds have fanned the flames. But with rain expected later on Monday, Scotland’s large fires could soon be over.A blaze at Acharacle on the west coast has covered 35 square kilometres and at one stage had a 10-mile long fire wall.It was monitored by two crews overnight, with five more engines and a helicopter keeping it under control on Monday.
Scotland is still waiting for relief
Hugh Henny, of Highland and Islands Fire Brigade, said: “These fires have put a great deal of strain on our resources and firefighters who have been working long periods in torrid and exhausting conditions.” Firefighters were also tackling blazes at Barvas on the Isle of Lewis. One fire engine is monitoring the blaze which has now “significantly reduced” a spokeswoman said.Chief Inspector Ian Cox, of Fort William Police said there was “a large task ahead” for fire crews.He said: “We still have a very large scale fire here.”
Weather conditions would determine the length of time required to successfully overcome the fires, Ch Insp Cox said.He said: “In my five years in Lochaber it’s the largest fire I’ve been involved in.”John Brydon, a wildlife officer with Mallaig Police, said the fires took hold at “the worst time of year” with lambing season on the way.With birds nesting the forest fires had had a “devastating effect,” he said. Hundreds of people were evacuated on Sunday as a precautionary measure after a fire broke out in Palacerigg Country Park near Cumbernauld.