Arthur’s Seat fire: was a cigarette butt to blame?

The damage after the fire. Picture: Lisa Ferguson, TSPL.
The damage after the fire. Picture: Lisa Ferguson, TSPL.
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FIRE chiefs have issued warnings on wildfires following last night’s Arthur’s Seat blaze.

It comes as a sightseer was spotted smoking on Salisbury Crags shortly before the gorse fire ignited.

READ MORE: Arthur’s Seat fire: What we know so far about Salisbury Crags blaze

One eye-witness, who was at the attraction shortly before the fire broke out, said she had seen someone smoking at 6pm next to the gorse bushes.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service stressed carelessly discarded cigarettes could be a cause.

Group Manager Matt Acton said: ”As the warm and dry weather continues, so too does the risk of wildfire.

“Quantities of dead vegetation can provide a plentiful source of fuel for wildfires at this time of year.

“We have seen with the fire last night just how large these fires can become and the significant environmental and economic damage it can cause.

“We are appealing to people to be vigilant and consider their actions – it is crucial that people act safely and responsibly in rural environments and follow the countryside code.

“Just one heat source like a campfire ember or smoking materials can cause it to ignite and if the wind changes direction even the smallest fire can spread uncontrollably and devastate entire hillsides.”

READ MORE: Arthur’s Seat fire: 11 pictures showing the Salisbury Crags blaze and aftermath

Firefighters work closely with land managers, communities and other safety partners to prevent these incidents occurring.
Up to 20 firefighters battled last night’s blaze with two crews still there this morning dampening down hotspots.
The SFRS also said they had received 197 calls about the fire by 8.30pm after the alarm was raised at 6.30pm.
For further advice and information about wildfires and how to prevent them visit: /your-safety/wildfires.aspx or www.outdooraccess-scotland.com/

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