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U.S. isn’t alone: ‘Extreme risk’ wildfire warning issued for much of Scotland

by Caitlin Hutchison, The Herald (Glasgow, Scotland) |

The Scottish fire service has warned of an extreme risk of wildfire in place across northeastern, eastern and central Scotland.

An extreme risk of wildfire is also in place across Western Scotland April 15-17.

Firefighters have warned people in rural environments to be careful with naked flames near dry vegetation and "exercise caution.”

Wildfires have the potential to burn for days and devastate vast areas of land and wildlife; and threaten the welfare of nearby communities.

Local Senior Officer Bruce Farquharson 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 affected by wildfires, which can cause significant 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.

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

"Human behavior 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."

Fire crews were called to tackle two wild fires in the Western Isles in February.

Scots were warned that despite the freezing weather, parts of the west coast are vulnerable to wildfires.