Loch Ard forest fire caused by hot weather

Loch Ard forest fire caused by hot weather

13May 2005

publishedby  http://icstirlingshire.icnetwork.co.uk 

A FOREST fire which spanned 100 metres square was not started deliberately, according to Aberfoyle Forestry Commission.

The blaze, which occurred around lunchtime on Monday, left a large area of Loch Ard Forest, near to the Blackrock Quarry, scorched.

Twenty five firefighters from Aberfoyle, Balfron, Stirling and Callander responded to the emergency after witnesses reported seeing smoke from 20 miles away.

By the time they arrived, the blaze had retreated to small pockets of fire which they were able to extinguish with water back packss and fire beaters.

Initial investigations suggest that a combination of sunny weather coupled with large amounts of dry dead bracken lying on the ground conspired to cause the blaze.

Luckily, 12-year-old fir trees being grown close by were not affected.

Andy Malcolm, a forester with Aberfoyle Forestry Commission, said he would expect to see around three or four similar fires in the area each year.

He said: “At this time of year, when there is dead vegetation on the ground and when you have a spell of dry weather, then you have conditions that allow the place to go on fire as long as it’s dry.

“We were not surprised when this happened – because of the conditions we would have expected something to happen.”


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