Firefighters Tackle Huge Wildfire In Dumfries and Galloway

Crews have worked for over a day to ensure the incident is brought to a safe conclusion

Firefighters have battled for over a day to contain a massive wildfire burning in the Dumfries and Galloway countryside.Efforts to bring the blaze under control began shortly after 4pm on Sunday.

Nine fire engines and around 45 firefighters were on scene at the height of the incident, near Kirkcowan, with a further 25 forestry commission personnel assisting in the operation.

A tactical water drop from a helicopter was called-in this afternoon to support ground-based teams using backpacks and hand-held beaters to knock down the flames.

The fire was brought largely under control by 3pm today.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) and forestry commission personnel are likely to remain at the scene for some time as efforts continue to ensure the fire is fully extinguished.

Station Manager Keith Murray – who took over as officer in charge on Monday morning (6 June) –said: “This was a complex and physically demanding firefighting operation that required a co-ordinated approach over a very wide area.

“Our teams faced three large fire fronts as well as isolated pockets of burning grass and woodland.

“A wildfire is inherently unpredictable and they also had to work on terrain that was difficult to access and in blistering heat for a prolonged period of time.

“The professionalism of our firefighters and our forestry commission colleagues was absolutely essential to ensuring this incident was safely brought under control and I want to pass on my thanks to everyone involved.”

Wildfires can have a devastating impact on the countryside, destroying livestock, farmland, wildlife, protected woodland and sites of special scientific interest.

SFRS works closely with land managers and communities to reduce the number of wildfires in a bid to protect rural areas and their residents from the incidents, which tie-up emergency resources and can cause significant environmental and economic damage.

The public can help prevent wildfires by making sure they dispose of litter and smoking materials carefully while in rural areas.

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