Fire service on alert after spate of grass fires

A year ago last week, an enormous hill fire threatened to engulf the Machars - and a similar scene was narrowly avoided in Galloway this week.

Firefighters from across the area were called to several blazes on hills across the region, and sent out a warning about ‘tinder dry’ ground.

On Thursday, officers were called to land near Ardachie Farm near Kirkcowan at around 7pm when grass was reported to have caught alight.

Crews from Stranraer and Newton Stewart arrived on-scene and used beaters to extinguish the flames. They left shortly after 9pm.

Earlier that day, flames took hold on grassland near Carsphairn and around 30 officers from New Galloway, Newton Stewart, Castle Douglas, Thornhill and New Cumnock along with various estate workers were called who spent around five hours beating the grass.

The cause was controlled burning which became out of control at Holm Hill. Several other fires were tackled in the east of the region, also.

Last year, land between Mochrum and Kirkcowan burned for several days with fire crews from all across the south west turning out to douse the flames.

Despite the recent snowfall, there has been very little rain and the ground remains dry. Forecasters are predicting that to change in the coming days.