Hundreds of people got tips on outdoor fire safety at an event in Moray at the weekend.
Firefighters from Elgin, Buckie and Lossiemouth teamed up with officers from Forestry and Land Scotland and Police Scotland to host the event at Roseisle Forest.
The team wanted to show the local community how to stay safe and enjoy the outdoors this summer and remind them of the rules surrounding campfires and barbecues.
Fire appliances and other specialist equipment, including an all-terrain vehicle and a water carrier, were big hits among the visitors.
Watch Commander Gareth Luce, based at Elgin fire station, said: “The kids really enjoyed the all-terrain vehicle that was there. The police car was also very popular.”
Visitors from far and wide
People from far and wide came and got immersed in the event, much to the delight of Mr Luce. He said: “We had a few hundred people visit us throughout the course of the day which was excellent.
“We had people from the area, we had people from the west coast of Scotland and people up from England on staycations.”
This was particularly positive as the event highlighted the risks of fires as visitor numbers in the area increase.
Mr Luce said: “That’s one of the reasons why we did this, the number of people that won’t be going abroad and instead will be going into the countryside or the woods or seaside.
“We just wanted to put the message across. A lot of the fires aren’t deliberate, they are purely accidental. People don’t realise that, if you put a ring of rocks around a fire, it doesn’t stop the wind blowing the embers metres away.”
Wildfires have been an all too common occurrence in the Moray region in recent years.
Rural beauty spots are at risk when people don’t take the necessary precautions when using the likes of disposable barbecues.
Mr Luce hopes the event has been a success and increased the community’s knowledge into the dangers of outdoor fires.
He said: “We had loads of questions from the kids, as you can imagine, but also from their parents.
People were asking us about our resources and why we’ve got different types of assets, then we’d start speaking about fire safety advice, taking into account the weather, has it been dry, is it windy.”
The services at the event were also keen to highlight the number of resources that can be required to deal with even a small outdoor fire.
Mr Luce said: “These types of fires, whether it’s in a forestry block or gorse bushes, it’s the amount of resources they use. You could have easily five or six appliances there just putting out bushes.
If something more serious comes in, it means people wait a little bit longer. It could delay maybe a car crash or a house fire.”
#Forres, #Lossiemouth and #Speyside Community Policing team teamed up with the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service and the Forestry and Land Commission Scotland to assist in educating the public on the use of fires in wooded areas and safe camping. @fire_scot@ForestryLS pic.twitter.com/o8vukfuyvT
— Moray Police (@MorayPolice) June 20, 2021
Due to the success of the event, they are hoping to run another one on August 7.