Cairngorms National Park wildfire: Seven football pitches worth of forest destroyed in Scottish wildfire

Forestry and Land Scotland has urged everyone to act responsibly after a wildfire broke out over the weekend destroying around seven football pitches worth of forest near Loch Morlich.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) were called to the fire in the Cairngorms National Park just after 2pm on June 5 and the area was declared safe on Sunday morning.

Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) has said that the fire which impacted around seven hectares of land – equal to roughly seven football pitches in size – was “devastating but preventable”.

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The cause of the fire remains unknown.

FLS Recreation Ranger in the area, Maree Morrison, said: “A huge thanks to the crews from SFRS who attended on the day and stopped this fire from being much worse.

“Over recent weeks we have been working closely with the Cairngorms National Park Authority and SFRS to raise awareness of the 'very high fire risk' message by using social media, on-site signage and leaflets, all supplemented by additional on-site staff who are helping us to convey this and other key messages.

“The impact of wildfires can affect habitats and wildlife for months, years or even decades.

"It is imperative that visitors plan ahead and are aware of the potential safety precautions that they need to take, especially when conditions are so hot and dry.”

The fire was reported on Saturday afternoon near Loch Morlich at the Cairngorms National Park. (Credit: Crew Commander, Jamie Stewart, SFRS (Aviemore))

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FLS has reminded people that campfires are not allowed within the Cairngorms National Park or at FLS sites.

Portable gas stoves are recommended for BBQs and cooking food, with visitors advised to completely avoid all solid fuel.

Ms Morrison added: “This is a beautiful part of Scotland that welcomes thousands of visitors every year. It is important that everyone plays their part in making sure that Loch Morlich and the Glenmore Forest Park is protected and safe for all to enjoy.”

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service mobilised four appliances to extinguish the fire. (Credit: Crew Commander, Jamie Stewart, SFRS (Aviemore))

A SFRS spokesperson said: “We were alerted at 2.18pm on Saturday, June 5 to reports of a fire in the open close to Loch Morlich, Cairngorms National Park.

“Operations Control mobilised four appliances to the scene and firefighters extinguished a fire which was affecting an area of approximately 100 metres by 200 metres of gorse, trees and grass.

“Crews left the scene after ensuring the area was made safe and there were no reported casualties.”

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Roughly seven football fields worth of land was damaged in the wildfire. (Credit: Crew Commander, Jamie Stewart, SFRS (Aviemore))

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Forest and Land Scotland has urged everyone to take care to prevent further instances like this occurring. (Credit: Crew Commander, Jamie Stewart, SFRS (Aviemore))

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