Rural farm fire total in Scotland hits five-year peak
Farmers and crofters have been urged to protect their property after the number of rural farm fires in Scotland reached a five-year high.
There were 343 fires on agricultural land in 2015/16.
The highest totals were found in Aberdeenshire, the Highlands and Dumfries and Galloway.
Earlier this year the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service - with NFU Scotland - launched a rural risk survey to help map out any dangers.
It has now been rolled out to three areas of Scotland - South Lanarkshire, Dumfries and Galloway and the Highlands - with the hope of extending it in years to come.
|Agricultural fires by council area|
|Argyll & Bute||3||7||5||6||5|
|Dumfries & Galloway||16||14||16||24||25|
|Na h-Eileanan Siar||0||2||2||1||0|
|Perth & Kinross||22||18||16||29||18|
NFU Scotland President Allan Bowie said: "A fire on a farm or croft can be devastating and it is worrying to see that incidents are at their peak since 2010.
"With farms and crofts often in remote areas, and can on occasion be hard to find, this rural risk survey will assist in helping fire crews to reach the fire quicker and more easily and prevent wider damage.
"We encourage farmers and crofters to take the time to contact the fire service to inform them of what you hold on your property, and to map out where the dangers are. By doing this, it could save your farm or croft if a fire was to ever occur."
He said any precaution to make properties safer could "only be a good thing".
Scott Kennedy, of SFRS, commented: "To date, we have carried out 60 visits to local farms in South Lanarkshire and Dumfries and Galloway to complete the rural risk information.
"SFRS has now identified an opportunity to engage with the farming communities to effectively communicate a valuable safety message, not only for the benefit of farming communities themselves but also for the protection of fire crews from the associated dangers within farm premises.
"We have a duty to serve and protect everyone within our community and we want to ensure that farms and crofts are given similar attention."
He said the survey helped to provide information about hazards on properties and also about water supplies and farm access.