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Last Updated: Saturday, 19 April, 2003, 17:15 GMT 18:15 UK
Firefighters tackle forest blazes
A helicopter waterbombs the forest fire near Darvel in Ayrshire
Helicopter have water-bombed the forest fire in Ayrshire
Fire crews across Scotland have been at full stretch tackling blazes which have destroyed thousands of acres of forest and moorland.

Firefighters in Ayrshire worked round the clock to tackle a forest fire near Darvel - the biggest of its kind in the area for decades.

In the Highlands, firefighters have been very busy, dealing with more than 200 incidents.

A brigade spokesman said one particular fire at Salen on the Ardnamurchan point in Lochaber was very large.

Moor fires

A helicopter water-bombed the blaze, which has a 10 mile (16 kilometre) front, and officers have been protecting about 10 nearby homes from flames.

Two moor fires on the Western Isles at Barvas Moor and Leverburgh were also causing problems.

The blaze in Leverburgh, on the Isle of Harris, threatened homes on Friday night, but a change in wind direction removed the immediate danger.

In Ayrshire, the blaze on Loudon Hill, which began late on Thursday, covered 12 square miles (20 square kilometres).

Four helicopters dropped waterbombs on the flames.

Firefighters said the blaze was under control but warned that flames could flare up again if dry weather continues.

Both commercial woodland and grouse moor were destroyed by the blaze, causing damage estimated at millions of pounds.

Strathclyde Fire Brigade divisional officer Donald Harvie said: "With any fire in the countryside in this area, we have problems with water supplies, we have problems with accessibility, and indeed the flames would be fanned by the high winds."


SEE ALSO:
Helicopters tackle forest fires
18 Apr 03  |  Scotland



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