Wildfire warning issued for Aberdeen

A warning has been issued for wildfires in the north-east this week.
A warning has been issued for wildfires in the north-east this week.

A warning has been issued over potential wildfires in the north-east.

The Scottish Wildlife Forum and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has issued the alert ahead of what is expected to be dry and windy weather this week.

The order has been put in place for central and eastern areas of Scotland.

Wildfires can be caused by the irresponsible disposal of cigarettes or barbeques and campfires left unattended.

Bruce Farquharson, the local senior officer for Aberdeen City, as well as the chairman of the Scottish Wildlife Forum, said: “Many rural and remote communities are hugely impacted by wildfires, which can cause significant environmental and economic damage.

“Livestock, farmland, wildlife, protected woodland and sites of special scientific interest can all be devastated by these fires – as can the lives of people living and working in rural communities.

“Human behaviour can significantly lower the chance of a wildfire starting so it is crucial that people act safely and responsibly in rural environments and follow the countryside code.

“Grass and wildfires are a common risk at this time of year when warmer weather dries out vegetation – especially dead winter foliage – which offers an ample fuel source.

“Just one heat source like a campfire ember can cause it to ignite and if the wind changes direction even the smallest fire can spread uncontrollably and devastate entire hillsides.

“At the start of spring there is often a lot of dead vegetation leftover from last year – this fuel can dry out quickly with higher temperatures and lower humidity levels.

“A great many people will be enjoying the outdoors in the good weather this weekend, we urge everyone to make sure that they don’t increase the chance of wildfire – be aware of the risks and follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

“Wildfires are a major threat to our wildlife and wild places. We encourage people visiting the outdoors to be extra careful, and check the advice in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code before starting a fire.

“The public can help prevent wildfires by making sure they dispose of litter and smoking materials carefully while in rural areas.”