Scotland's dry weather sees 'aggressive' spread of wildfires

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Media caption,

The wildfire comes after days of very dry weather.

Several wildfires have taken hold across Scotland in the last few days due to dry, windy weather.

More than 30 firefighters are currently tackling a blaze in the Kilpatrick Hills, West Dunbartonshire, 24 hours after a 999 alert.

Six trucks and a helicopter are also at the scene, near Cochno Road, Clydebank, in an effort to extinguish the flames.

Similar fires have also taken hold in the Highlands, Dumfries and Galloway and Stirling this week.

Crews left the Kilpatrick Hills fire late on Monday as conditions had become dangerous.

They returned to the scene at 06:00 on Tuesday and have worked throughout the day.

There are no reported casualties.

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John Miller, deputy assistant chief officer for the west of Scotland, said conditions had been "challenging" in the Kilpatrick Hills.

He said: "Crews continue working to contain and extinguish the fire, and they must be commended for their efforts.

"Additionally, the continued support of our partners, including the support of Police Scotland's helicopter for intelligence and a second helicopter to water bomb, has been invaluable. Our sincere thanks go to them also."

'Devastating to the environment'

The Scottish Fire and Rescue service said dry weather and windy conditions have contributed to the "aggressive spread of fires" in all incidents.

A warning that Scotland is at "extreme" risk of wildfire remains in place the forecast remains the same for several days.

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Mr Miller urged people to stay at home "wherever possible", but added if people had to travel, to take care in the countryside.

He said: "These types of fires can be started deliberately, or through careless disposal of things such as cigarettes - but the results are equally devastating to wildlife, the environment and communities.

"Additionally, these fires are a completely avoidable draw upon our resources at this difficult time.

"Follow our safety advice wherever possible, and adhere to the Scottish Outdoor Access Code."