‘Extreme’ wildfire risk in Renfrewshire as temperatures set to soar this weekend

An ‘extreme’ wildfire risk has been declared in Renfrewshire this weekend as temperatures are set to soar.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has issued a warning that fires could ignite and spread easily with warm temperatures and strong winds forecast.

The warning begins today and will remain in place until Monday across the west of Scotland.

The alert from fire chiefs comes just one week after the fire service urged the Renfrewshire public to act responsibly following a number of deliberate blazes at Gleniffer Braes.

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Firefighters were sent to the scenic beauty spot twice in just one week to extinguish flames after fallen trees and grass were set alight.

The deliberate fires – which are being thought to have been lit by groups of teens in the area – were slammed by councillors and residents in the area, who feared the impact the fires were having on local wildlife and the environment.

Large areas of scorch grass were left behind following the fires
(Image: Paisley Daily Express, UGC MSR)

Now, as the wildfire warning remains in place for four days, fire chiefs have urged people enjoying the outdoors to act responsibly.

Group Commander Keith Langley, who is one of SFRS’ Wildfire Tactical Advisors, is urging the public to take the utmost care in the countryside.

He said: “The key issues over the next few days are sunshine, warm air temperatures, low humidity and moderate to strong winds.

“Dead grass, leaves, twigs and heather on the ground will dry quite quickly in these conditions and when ignited can burn very fast with extreme fire intensity.

“Please exercise caution outdoors to avoid fires breaking out and think twice before using anything involving a naked flame.”

The Express previously published pictures of charred grass and trees at the Braes after the area was targeted by firebugs.

Renfrewshire fire chiefs are called on parents and guardians to make sure teens know the dangers and consequences of starting deliberate fires.

Area Commander David McCarrey is the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s local senior officer for East Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire and Inverclyde.

He said: “Deliberate fires have the potential to cause injury and even death or cause devastating damage to our environment and properties. They are a needless drain on emergency service resources.

“Our firefighters and community action teams have been, and will continue to, work extremely hard, by meeting daily with our partners, as well as engaging with the public and promoting safety messages.

“I would also ask parents, guardians and carers to help by making sure that children and young people are aware of the risks and consequences of deliberate fire setting.”

The wildfire warning map can be found at https://twitter.com/fire_scot

Daily Record – Paisley