As many tourists and local residents are undoubtedly aware, there is currently a HIGH risk of wildfires in the Skye & Lochalsh area.
Wildfires are usually caused by the careless disposal of cigarette butts, broken glass reflecting the suns rays, barbecues or bonfires.
Members of the public are asked to be especially vigilant when out and about in our beautiful countryside and to dispose of cigarette butts and litter in the appropriate manner - don't drop it on the ground!
If using disposable BBQs' please do so on a mounted platform of stones or similar and ensure no embers touch the earth. Once you have finished your BBQ, please leave the used and invariably still very hot BBQ tray BESIDE a Village Bin and NOT inside it as it will set fire! Litter Picking crews can dispose of it safely.
Avoid lighting bonfires by areas of open heath, moorland, gorse or heather, or in woodland areas. Wildfires can penetrate the peat and may burn underground for quite some time to come up somewhere else.
Muir Burning is the controlled burning of moorland by teams of Beaters from local Estates and is done in strips to encourage regrowth for specific gamebirds and animals.
In contrast, wildfires can have a devestating effect on the local ecology of an area as they spread randomly and are not controlled.
If you see a wildfire or any smoke on the hills contact Tel. 999 and ask for FIRE. Give your Name, Location and Tel. No. and a description of the locality where you think the fire may be. An Ordnance Survey Grid Reference is helpful.
These Lanterns that are often set off to commemorate some occasion and operate by lighting a wick and releasing into the air, may be responsible for some wildfires. The Lanterns may come down on heathland that is tinder dry and if the wick hasn't extinguished, may cause a fire.
The Highland Council have banned the release of these Lanterns from any Land owned or managed by them.