FIREFIGHTERS battled for several hours to tackle a massive barn blaze on the outskirts of Inverness.
Fears that gas cylinders may explode kept crews back initially when they arrived at Redhill Farm, Arturlie.
Two farm workers were treated for smoke inhalation and the barn, which was storing bales of hay, was totally destroyed.
Firefighters remain at the scene today.
The blaze, which was reported at 3.11pm yesterday afternoon, happened within a 50m x 30m barn.
It contained bales of hay, straw and assorted farm machinery. Three appliances from Inverness were sent to the scene along with the water carrier.
Group Manager John MacDonald was at the scene and said: “When crews arrived there was a well-developed fire involving around three and a half thousand bales of hay and straw. There were also various types of farm machinery inside.
“The priority for crews was to secure a reliable water supply as it was evident a large amount of water was going to be required to extinguish this fire.
“Firefighters located a pond nearby and set portable pumps into the water. They were then able to run lines of hose to supply the appliances on the fire ground.
“Crews used two main jets to tackle the fire. They were assisted by farm personnel who used farm machinery to spread the hay and straw out, making it easier for crews to dampen down the area and target hot spots.
“The operation continued throughout the night and crews are still at the scene damping down. They are likely to remain there for much of the day today.”
He added: “Firefighters showed great determination and commitment during what was a protracted incident. We would also like to thank Police and Scottish Ambulance Service for their support and farm personnel for their assistance.”