UK — People who use the Scottish countryside have been urged to be more aware of the danger of wildfires and to act to prevent them as we approach the summer season.
Landowners, land managers, tourists and members of the wider community are being asked to help reduce the number of fires that occur in the countryside in a bid to protect the land and its residents.
A spokesman for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) said that last year they attended a large number of wildfire incidents across Scotland. He said these were successfully dealt with thanks to a committed and sustained effort by firefighters.
We are now entering that time of year when the risk of wildfire is at its highest and SFRS is keen to work with land managers, tourists and communities to help reduce the number of fires. The demand on SFRS resources during wildfire season is significant and it is hoped that raised awareness will help reduce that demand, he added.
He said there were a number of things land managers could do to hlep prevent wildfires, including strict adherence to the Muirburn Code which applies to the controlled burning of heather within the permitted season.
He said that many wildland fires were started deliberately or were due to careless, reckless or irresponsible behaviour and urged people to contact Police Scotland on 101 or pass information anonymously to Scotland Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if they saw anyone acting suspiciously in the countryside.
Chairman of the Scottish Wildfire Forum and assistant chief officer for SFRS Mr Robert Scott said they were keen to raise awareness.
We want people to joint Scotlands fight against fire and we are urging communities, tourists and visitors to he aware of the heightened risk of wildfire, he said.