Spate of fires promptspublic appeal 

11 May 2006

 THE public are beingwarned during the dry weather to be careful about accidentally starting fires ingrass or undergrowth following a spate of incidents around Forres.

Out three times in the course of three days last weekto tackle fires at various locations around Forres which took hold during theextremely dry weather.

In one incident, a crew was called out at 7.20am onThursday to tackle an earlymorning fire which had started on grassland nearCluny Hill. They were called back to the same spot on Saturday morning to tackleanother grass fire.

Forres station officer Gordon Fyfe said although therewere no suspicious circumstances for the first fire, it had been avoidable, asit appeared to have been started by a carelessly discarded light or cigarette.

He warned members of the public to be more carefulduring prolonged dry spells of weather.

His views were supported by Grampian Fire and RescueService station manager Kevin Lackie.

“Following this recent spate of fires in theForres area, ” he said, “I would remind the public to exercise extremecaution when lighting barbecues or fires in the open.”

Mr Fyfe and his team were out again on Thursday eveningafter a member of the public alerted the emergency services to a blaze in thegorse at Kinloss.

An eye-witness reported that the fire had been startednear an encampment of travellers, where another fire had been lit the nightbefore.

“I noticed smoke, ” said local woman PearlHamilton, “and then I realised it was because the gorse was on fire.”

Mrs Hamilton said that it was a balmy and dry night,and the fire could have been much worse if the emergency services had notarrived promptly. Another fire in the same area about two years ago burned forseveral hours before fire crews were able to bring it under control.

Anyone requiring information about lighting fires andbarbecues when camping can visit the website at www. grampianfrs. org. uk


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