Northern Constabulary and the Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service are calling on land managers and estate owners to ensure that any muirburn activity is carried out in a responsible and safe manner; following a number of recent fire incidents throughout the Western Isles.

The HIF&R service in the Western Isles are currently experiencing a spate of uncontrolled wildfires during these dry and windy conditions. The HIF&R service would urge all those engaged in muirburn activities to adhere to the Muirburn Code and assess the weather conditions before beginning a burn. In addition sufficient people and equipment must be available to control the fire.

Wildfires are potentially very dangerous, spreading fast, changing direction and jumping to other areas.

Householders should avoid lighting garden bonfires when there is a high wind or a strong sun prevalent. They should ensure a shovel and garden hose are in position before lighting any fire. Garden bonfires should not be lit if there is the potential for smoke or flames blowing towards your home or any neighbouring homes.

Last night there was a large wildfire in the Tolsta area where fire-fighters have been battling for over 4 hours to bring the fire under control.

Police wish to reiterate the concern raised by the HIF&R service and ask that all the relevant precautions be taken to prevent fire spreading out of control.

Further information on the Muirburn Code is available from /www.hifrs.org.