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Bressay burns

SHETLAND joined other parts of northern Scotland tackling uncontrolled heather fires on Tuesday afternoon when the Bressay auxiliary fire crew were called out to the island’s east coast.

The local crew were alerted by the Lerwick fire chief Miles Murray when he spotted smoke ascending over the horizon as he look eastward across Bressay Sound from the town’s fire station.

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Murray called Bressay’s head fireman John Bremner who investigated and confirmed a two acre area around the Noss car park was ablaze at around 4.30pm.

A team of four firefighters headed out and before 6pm they had extinguished the flames, which had been started by the local crofter as a controlled heather burn.

Bremner said they were fortunate the wind was not blowing at the time or it could have spread much further and been much harder to put out.

Fire crews were almost called out on Bressay earlier in the day when a resident on the islands’ west coast around Ham started a small pallet fire in his garden that got out of control and threatened the neighbouring crofter’s fence.

The crofter came across and put the fire out with beaters before much damage was caused.

The newly centralised fire service has been putting out warnings advising people to be careful before they start a fire due to the dry conditions being experienced at the moment.

Around 40 uncontrolled heather fires have been reported in the north and west of the highlands and islands over the past few days.

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