Machars farmland engulfed in flames

The moorland fire at Mochrum. GG 1604023 12
The moorland fire at Mochrum. GG 1604023 12

AROUND 25 firefighters are tackling a moorland blaze which began on Sunday and has been spreading across farmland in the Machars.

Helping them are Forestry Commission staff and local farmers who have taken to beating the desolate land between Barquhill Farm and Mochurm Estate.

At around 6pm on Sunday, the fire service received a call to a grass fire out of control in the area of Kirkcowan. Three fire appliances from Newton Stewart and Stranraer were faced with a very large fire front over 800 metres spreading rapidlly towards trees.

A fire service spokesman said: “Due to safety considerations landowners, Forestry Commission and Fire and Rescue personnel were withdrawn from the scene as darkness fell with one Fire Appliance being left overnight monitoring the area and providing a rapid reaction to any fires nearing property.

“Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary assisted by contacting local land and property owners who may be affected and advising them to remain vigilant overnight and to call the Fire and Rescue Service who could respond rapidly with its overnight presence in the area.”

This morning (Monday) at around 6.30am, the fire was reassessed with 25 Firefighters, two supervisory officers, landowners and Forestry Commission workers sent to tackle what fire crews are calling “this very serious incident.”

Dumfries and Galloway Fire and Rescue Service urge landowners and visitors to the area to be extremely careful when setting controlled areas of burning, camp fires or indeed when discarding smoking material as the ground is extremely dry and small fires in grass and woodland can rapidly spread out of control.