Warning as peak wildfire season approaches

Scotland’s firefighters responded to more than one wildfire a day during Spring last year, new figures have revealed.

Friday, 10th March 2023, 3:29pm
Warning as peak wildfire season approaches

The statistics from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) show that during March and April 2022, 95 incidents of wildfire were recorded across Scotland.

Many wildfires are started deliberately or are due to careless, reckless or irresponsible behaviour and that risk peaks during early Spring.

SFRS has now launched its new prevention campaign called ‘Care for your Countryside’ ahead of the start of this year’s season when people will be returning to the countryside in greater numbers.

Wildfires can be devastating for rural areas, ravaging the landscape, affecting wlidlife and habitats, as well as those living within these communities.

This type of large-scale incident also negatively impacts the environment and has the potential to burn for days, placing a drain on emergency service resources.

Deputy Assistant Chief Officer (DACO) Bruce Farquharson, SFRS Wildfire Lead, is appealing to the public to always think twice before setting any type of fire outdoors.

He said: “It is crucial that people act safely and responsibly in rural environments to prevent a fire from spreading out of control.

“Wildfires in particular are extremely dangerous and pose a major threat to rural communities, wildlife and areas of countryside.

"Wildfires can spread rapidly and it’s vital that people never start a fire during periods of high wildfire danger.

“We would always recommend not having a fire at all but we do recognise there are occasions where people will still want to have one.

“It is important that people understand the impact of deliberate or careless fire-setting – even with the best intentions there is still a risk that a fire can spread.

“If you light a camp fire, for example, please be aware of conditions such as high winds, high temperatures and low humidity and always take steps to make sure your camp fire is fully extinguished before you leave. You should also ensure other items such as cigarettes are disposed of safely and responsibly.

“You can care for your countryside by taking simple steps to act safely and responsibly in rural environments and always following the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.”

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