A major fire at an Aberdeen nature reserve may have been started on purpose, police have said.
Smoke could be seen billowing across Aberdeen after the blaze broke out in the Gramps area of Kincorth at around 8.45am yesterday.
Fire crews spent more than an hour tackling multiple sections of flames at Kincorth Hill Nature Reserve with a specialist wildfire unit called into action.
In total 14 firefighters helped extinguish the fire, which spread quickly across the dry grass, with crews needing to use specialist equipment, including beaters.
The blaze was extinguished at about 10.10am but crews remained on scene to make sure the area was safe.
Police said the fire might have been started deliberately and urged people with information to get in touch.
“Following an examination of the area the fire is now being treated as deliberate,” said a Police Scotland spokesman.
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Sergeant Kevin Souter, of Nigg Police Station, said: “Deliberately starting a fire is extremely reckless – you only have limited control over how it may develop.
“I’d appeal to anyone with information or may have seen anything suspicious in the area to let us know.
“You can contact police by calling 101, quoting incident 0859 of January 12, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
Police have not said if they are linking the incident to four deliberate fires at the Gramps so far this year.
Kincorth, Nigg and Cove councillor Sarah Duncan said: “I am very concerned about the recent spate of fires on the Gramps.
“The police and fire service have been proactive over the years in educating young people about responsible behaviour there, and clearly this work needs to continue, but the whole community needs to take responsibility for keeping the area safe.
“These fires are a danger to wildlife and people and they divert precious fire service resources away from emergencies so it’s in everyone’s interests to stop these fires happening.”
Aberdeen North MP Stephen Flynn said: “The number of fires in the Gramps recently is clearly worrying and I would like to thank the fire service for their vital work in keeping folk safe.
“These blazes put lives at risk and tie up fire service resources.
“Folk in Kincorth and Nigg will be frustrated and disappointed by this news and so I would encourage anyone with any information to come forward.”