Oban wildfire raged for hours

This dramatic shot of the wildfire beyond McCaig's Tower was caught on camera by Nick Edgington.

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Firefighters battled for 15 hours to extinguish a wildfire raging on a hill near Oban.

At the peak of the blaze, beyond the Scottish Water installation near Pennyfuir, there were four appliances at the scene after the fire broke out just after 3.30pm on Friday.

Crews from as far away as Inveraray’s retained station and volunteers from Dalmally, Appin and Tyndrum joined Oban firefighters using beaters and specialist knapsacks and hoses to get the flames, seen from miles around, under control.

It is understood firefighters had to walk their way in from Pennyfuir to get to the burning hillside.

Dramatic photographs were captured by people in the town, with the orange glow of flames shooting up into the sky with landmark McCaig’s Tower in the foreground, and there were others with the fire looking perilously close to homes.

The area up on the hill is full of Gorse and vegetation popular with a variety of nesting birds, 6 x 8 acres was affected.

Posts on Facebook have praised the firefighters who got it under control, one said: ‘Massive respect for all the fire service teams. Getting themselves and equipment up that hill in the dark and getting the fire out is absolutely outstanding and they should be praised!’

A Scottish Fire & Rescue Service (SFRS) spokesman confirmed fire crews left the area at 7.35am on Saturday – 15 hours after a large grass fire was reported from the Longsdale area.

A very high – extreme risk of wildfire warning was in place across Western Scotland over the weekend, with SFRS and NatureScot urging people to exercise caution.

Wildfires have the potential to burn for days and devastate vast areas of land and wildlife, and threaten the welfare of nearby communities.

Senior Officer Bruce Farquharson said people need to exercise extreme caution and think twice before using anything involving a naked flame during conditions when there is a risk of wildfires.

‘Many rural and remote communities are hugely impacted by wildfires, which can cause significant damage.

‘Livestock, farmland, wildlife, protected woodland and sites of special scientific interest can all be devastated by these fires – as can the lives of people living and working in rural communities.

‘These fires can also have a hugely negative impact on the environment and the release of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.

‘Human behaviour can significantly lower the chance of a wildfire starting, so it is crucial that people act safely and responsibly in rural environments, and always follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code,’ he said.