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Scottish Fire and Rescue Service issues ‘extreme’ wildfire warning for north-west Highlands

By Alasdair Fraser

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Impact of Cannich wildfire on RSPB Cormionny Nature Reserve, Scotland, May 2023
Impact of Cannich wildfire on RSPB Cormionny Nature Reserve, Scotland, May 2023

An extreme wildfire warning has been issued for the north-west Highlands after some of the hottest temperatures of the year were recorded.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) posted the alert on its social media channels, warning those enjoying the countryside to avoid using naked flames outdoors.

The wildfire at Cannich.
The wildfire at Cannich.

It comes just as the Highlands begins to experience increased visitors numbers, including large numbers of campervans, campers and outdoor enthusiasts.

RELATED: Highland communities record Scotland’s warmest day of 2024, say Met Office

Yesterday saw the mercury soar in parts of the western Highlands with temperatures of 22.1C recorded in Kinlochewe and Achnagart in Wester Ross.

Altnaharra in Sutherland experienced 13.5 hours of sunshine.

SFRS group commander Niall MacLennan said: “We are asking the public to exercise extreme caution and think twice before using anything involving a naked flame.

“Many rural and remote communities are hugely impacted by wildfires, which can cause significant damage.

“These fires can destroy wildlife and habitat, including protected woodlands and sites of special scientific interest, as well as the lives of people living and working in rural communities.

Adding: “These fires can also have a hugely negative impact on the environment and the release of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.

“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 always follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.”

The wildfire warning comes a day after a major fire at North Connel near Oban which spread over a field and onto the busy A828 Oban to Fort William road.

More information on the SFRS wildfire policies and warnings can be found here.

Last year, firefighters and other emergency services had to tackle huge, destructive wildfire in the Cannich area.

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