NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Firefighters tackle major Moray gorse blaze

Buckpool fire Image copyright Scottish Fire and Rescue
Image caption Gorse near the Buckpool Golf Course is well ablaze

A large gorse fire in Moray has prompted a major operation by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

About 50 firefighters have been attempting to control the blaze close to the Buckpool Golf Course at Buckie in Moray.

The emergency services were initially called out at about 16:00 on Saturday. Police have warned people to stay away from the area.

A stretch of the A990 road between Portgordon and Buckie has been closed.

A spokeswoman for the brigade said: "We were alerted at 16.08 on Saturday to reports of a fire in the open, near Buckie.

"Operations control mobilised a number of resources to the scene at Buckpool, where around 50 firefighters are currently tackling a large fire within a widespread area of gorse."

No-one has been hurt.

Image copyright Scottish Fire and Rescue
Image caption A wildfire close to the A9 was successfully put out

A Police Scotland spokesman said: "The A990 between Portgordon and Buckie is currently closed due to a gorse fire at Buckpool Golf Course.

"The Scottish Fire Service and Police Scotland are in attendance. The public are requested to avoid the area."

Earlier crews from Inverness and Aviemore had successfully put out a wildfire at the Slochd, close to the A9.

The fire service said their work had prevented the outbreak reaching a nearby forestry plantation.

A wider wildfire warning remains in place across Scotland.

SFRS area manager Bruce Farquharson is the chair of the Scottish Wildfire Forum.

He said: "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 can cause it to ignite and if the wind changes direction, even the smallest fire can spread uncontrollably and devastate entire hillsides."

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