The owners of a north-east estate have urged picnickers and other visitors to be responsible after an “out of control fire” destroyed a woodland.
Firefighters spent several hours battling the blaze at Dunecht Estate on Tuesday afternoon, saving an area of conservation woodland and a nearby farm.
However, 2.5 acres of woodland was destroyed by the blaze which is believed to have been sparked by an unattended barbecue.
Estate managers have condemned the careless act and have told people to “exercise your right to access” responsibly.
In a social post, which includes pictures of the emergency response, the estate said: We would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone to please exercise your right of access responsibly and urge people to avoid using any type of fire (BBQ or campfire) in wild areas during these dry weather conditions and never light a fire in woodland, peatland areas or near buildings.
“Please dispose of litter and cigarettes responsibly, even if this means taking it home with you; call 999 and ask for the fire service if you see an out of control fire and follow the The Scottish Government’s Outdoor Access Code.”
“If you have any information regarding this incident, please contact the estates office.
“Many thanks to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, our staff and the local farmers who attended.”
Firefighters battle to save the estate
The estate’s head forester, gamekeeper and rural surveyor attended the incident before the fire crews got there.
Three fire engines along with a specialist forest fire support unit following reports of the woodland fire at 2.40pm.
The team used backpack sprays, beaters, one main pump and one hose reel jet to bring the flames under control as well as utilising the forestry unit.
Members of the forestry team and local farmers also raced to the estate to lend a helping hand.