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Scotland hit by wild fires

Posted 4 May 2011
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Scotland hit by wild fires
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Those who like to go walking in the Scottish Highlands may need to be vigilant to avoid actions that could start wild fires.

With the exceptionally dry weather continuing and strong winds fanning flames, large areas of the countryside have been affected, with the Balmoral estate in the Cairngorms National Park having fire crews called to deal with a heathland blaze.

Another fire led to the closure of the A82 at Bridge of Orchy, north of Loch Lomond.

Careless actions can lead to fires, with one blaze narrowly avoided when Cairngorms National Park rangers put out a barbecue started by the banks of Loch an Eilean near Aviemore, while another nearby was also extinguished just in time.

Both could have caused major damage in the ancient Rothiemurchus Forest.

Advice to walkers has included not lighting fires, dropping lit cigarette ends or leaving glass items where they can project the sun's rays.

Provisional data from the Met Office has revealed Britain has just had its warmest April on record.