Fire Risk Warning in the Scottish Hills

© Ben Lomond Ranger Service

Following a prolonged warm dry spell, the risk of wildfire is now high in many upland areas, and land managers have asked the public to be careful with all sources of ignition.

A wildfire last week which caused considerable damage to the Ptarmigan woodland regeneration project on the lower slopes of Ben Lomond was sparked by a discarded cigarette, according to the National Trust for Scotland.

A fire affected new woodland above Loch Lomond  © Ben Lomond Ranger Service
A fire affected new woodland above Loch Lomond
© Ben Lomond Ranger Service

"We're still fully assessing the scale of the damage caused by the wildfire" the Ben Lomond Ranger Service posted on social media. "It's sobering to see how much of the hill has been affected and how many trees have been lost."

"The site is now open for access once again. Please be aware of the extremely high fire risk – no fires, naked flames, cigarettes or barbeques please."

The National Trust rangers at Glen Coe shared their colleagues' concern:

"[It] might seem strange when there is still snow on the peaks, but spring is often a time of high wildfire risk as there is plenty of dead grass, heather and bracken out on the hills, left over from last year" they posted.

"It dries very quickly and can easily ignite with the slightest spark."

"We are always surprised how many people are not aware of the risks when we are out and about in the Glen..."

A huge fire also swept across the uninhabited Gruinard Island in Wester Ross at the weekend. The cause is as yet unclear.

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