Wildfire warnings as firefighters battle blaze at Bathgate woods

Members of the 4th Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland join firefighters as they prepare to fight a fire on Saddleworth moor near Stalybridge, northwest England. Picture: Oli SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Members of the 4th Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland join firefighters as they prepare to fight a fire on Saddleworth moor near Stalybridge, northwest England. Picture: Oli SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
0
Have your say

A wildfire warning has been put in place for the weekend as firefighters continue to tackle a blaze in woods near Bathgate.

More than 50 firefighters are working at the scene by Falla Hill Place in Fauldhouse, West Lothian, to extinguish pockets of the fire, which took hold in trees and dry vegetation.

Crews were first called at around 5pm on Wednesday, with the fire covering a 200m area.

READ MORE: Soaring temperatures cause 200m wildfire near Bathgate

It comes amid a heatwave across Scotland, with a wildfire warning in place until Monday.

Bruce Farquharson, chair of the Scottish Wildfire Forum, 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.

“A great many people will be enjoying the outdoors in the good weather this weekend, we urge everyone to make sure that they don’t increase the chance of wildfire - be aware of the risks and follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.”

READ MORE: Spectacular drone footage captures wildfire on Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh

A similar warning came last month as wildfires broke out in the Highlands and on Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh, while the fire service in England is currently dealing with a massive blaze on Saddleworth Moor.

No injuries have been reported at the Fauldhouse fire.

Group manager Mark Bryce said: “The fire has not spread any further but it has taken hold within trees and heavy vegetation and the terrain out here is proving difficult and challenging.

“We are using aggressive firefighting tactics to extinguish it as soon as possible.

“It is very hot out here but our crews are working very effectively and I thoroughly commend them for that effort.

“I would like to say thank-you to not only our partners but to the wider local community for their truly outstanding support.”