Large heath fire on Lewis

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A large heath fire was still raging and heading west from Achmore after burning all day yesterday (Tuesday).

There were fears it could reach a plantation of trees at Loch Macleod, not far from Garynahine.

Scottish Fire and Rescue said the blaze was by nightfall covering five square miles and crews from Stornoway and Shawbost, who had spent a number of hours at it with water jets and beaters, had been stood down for the night.

It is understood the blaze began east of the TV mast at Eitshal and has passed through that area,north of the mast, as it headed west. A local man who has been helping with the effort to contain it said: “The wind is pushing the fire west all the time. Myself and others here will be up all night to monitor it in case it comes close to the road or reaches the tree plantation. That would be an awful loss.”

He said that the last week and a half of dry weather with an easterly wind had made conditions on the island moor like a tinderbox and very dangerous. He suspected thoughtlessness by someone doing a muirburn may have led to the blaze.