Military flare sets off wildfire

FIREFIGHTERS have brought a wildfire under control which broke out at the MOD Site at West Freugh, Stranraer yesterday (Monday).

Firefighters were called to the scene in the morning and were faced with a fast-moving rough grass and gorse fire being fanned by strong winds.

Firefighters were assisted by a RAF Tactical Air Transportable Fire Unit which included two Major Foam Vehicles and 11 personnel along with 10 Army personnel from 3 Para Regiment that were at the base as part of the exercise ‘Joint Warrior’.

A fire service spokesman said: “FireFighters and Military personnel worked together using fire beaters and hose jets for six hours to bring the fire under control.

“An area of approximately two hectares was destroyed by fire but there were no injuries, no-one was evacuated from their home and the fire was prevented from entering a large area of woodland.”

A senior officer from the fire and rescue service added: “This was a very challenging situation, compounded by the fact that the Fire and Rescue Service were dealing with another large wildfire in Wigtownshire at the same time.

“Fire Service and military personnel worked well together to bring this blaze under control.”

The cause of the fire was found to be accidental ignition by a flare being used as part of Exercise Joint Warrior.