Calton Hill fire: Firefighters battle wildfire at landmark as plumes of smoke spread across area and area evacuated

People were evacuated from Edinburgh’s Calton Hill as firefighters were called to tackle a huge gorse wildfire which spread with bone dry ground in windy conditions.

By Rachel Mackie and Ilona Amos
Sunday, 26th June 2022, 4:03 pm
Updated Sunday, 26th June 2022, 6:46 pm

The drama began at around 3.15pm on Sunday as plumes of smoke spread from the rear of the old Royal High School building across the east end of the city.

Four fire appliances were sent to the scene with emergency services cordoning off the area and advising people to move away due to the smoke. There were no reports of injuries but crews stayed on the scene to dampen down.

The cause of the blaze is not yet known.

Edinburgh Central MSP Angus Robertson tweeted during the incident: “Very worrying and dramatic scenes from central Edinburgh with fire on Calton Hill by the historic Royal High School building.

“Wishing all the best to the emergency services at the scene.”

An eyewitness at the scene has said that they have been told police would be evacuating the area.

The fire service said they would not be leaving the scene until it is completely extinguished and made safe.

Calton Hill fire: Emergency services in attendance as fire breaks out in Edinburgh city centre

Another eyewitness added: “The ground is very dry, plus very windy and changing direction which meant the fire spread. There were lots of folk about too, enjoying nice day and amazing views.

"But people are being warned to stay away because of danger from smoke inhalation.”

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Calton Hill fire: Emergency services in attendance as fire breaks out in Edinburgh city centre
Calton Hill fire: Emergency services in attendance as fire breaks out in Edinburgh city centre
Calton Hill fire: Emergency services in attendance as fire breaks out in Edinburgh city centre
Calton Hill fire: Emergency services in attendance as fire breaks out in Edinburgh city centre
Calton Hill fire: Emergency services in attendance as fire breaks out in Edinburgh city centre
Calton Hill fire: Emergency services in attendance as fire breaks out in Edinburgh city centre
Calton Hill fire: Emergency services in attendance as fire breaks out in Edinburgh city centre
Calton Hill fire: Emergency services in attendance as fire breaks out in Edinburgh city centre
Calton Hill fire: Emergency services in attendance as fire breaks out in Edinburgh city centre