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Crews work through night as wildfire spreads near windfarm

Around 30 firefighters on the scene after blaze broke out in Aberlour, Moray.

Blaze: Firefighters working through the night.
Blaze: Firefighters working through the night. Brian Smith

Firefighters continue to battle a large wildfire near a windfarm in Moray.

Around 30 firefighters were at the scene of the blaze, which broke out near Paul's Hill windfarm, close to Aberlour, at 2.58pm on Monday.

At the height of the incident, nine fire appliances and two water carriers were there, but this had been scaled back to six appliances by Tuesday morning.

The blaze covers a large area between Paul's Hill, near Knockando, and Altyre Hill, near Forres.

There are no reports of any casualties, although some Forres residents have been evacuated from their homes as a precaution.

Local MP Douglas Ross said: "The size and scale of this fire is extremely worrying and I would like to pay tribute to the fire service who are doing an amazing job. Both fulltime and retained firefighters as part of units from Moray and further afield are working flat-out to deal with this.

"As well as this wildfire, there was also a fire near Ballindalloch very recently which required substantial resources to extinguish and a further fire in Hopeman at the weekend, which shows the pressures the fire service are working under at present.

"I would ask everyone to take extra precautions and remain vigilant when they are out and about enjoying the good weather, especially if they are in the woodlands and countryside."

Fire crews have also been tackling a large grass fire in the west of Scotland.

Nine fire engines were sent to the scene near Bonhill, West Dunbartonshire, after the alarm was raised at around 5.30pm on Monday.

Two fire engines remained at the scene on Tuesday morning to monitor the situation. The incidents came on the day that Scotland recorded its warmest Easter Monday on record.

The mercury reached 24.2C at Kinlochewe in Wester Ross shortly after 4pm. The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has issued a warning to the public about the dangers of wildfires.

It said on Twitter: "Our crews have worked tirelessly to tackle a large number of significant wildfires across Scotland this #Easter weekend.

"There remains an extreme risk of wildfire across the country in the coming days, with temperatures remaining high and moisture levels low.

"We encourage everyone who is enjoying the countryside during this period of extreme danger to exercise caution and be aware of how easily fires can start - and spread."

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