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Conservation charity the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) has confirmed that the wildfire which badly affected its Balmacara Estate, near Kyle of Lochalsh, earlier this week, is now thought to have burned around 5Km of land, equating to some 500 hectares.
The outbreak began on Wednesday morning and was finally confirmed as extinguished two days later yesterday (Friday) morning.
In a statement, NTS thanked the efforts of the Scottish Fire and Rescue, which saw as many as 11 fire appliances in attendance, assisted by Trust staff and a water-bombing helicopter.
The fire was put out without any loss or injury to people or livestock and, although the flames came close to properties, none were damaged.
NTS says although it will take time to assess the extent of the impact on the landscape, the vast majority of the area affected is common grazings (rough moorland).
Iain Turnbull, NTS’s Property Manager of the Balmacara Estate, commented: ‘Scottish Fire and Rescue did an outstanding job of controlling and eventually extinguishing the blaze.
‘I also want to pay tribute to Skyhook Helicopters for their role in fighting the blaze and also to the local volunteers and members of the community who looked after the fire-fighters throughout the incident, providing them with food and refreshments.
‘While the cause of the wildfire is still uncertain, it is a salutary reminder that all of us must take the utmost care in the countryside during dry spells.
‘Our next step is to make a full assessment of the affected area and decide on what happens next to help recovery.’
Photograph: Iain Turnbull.