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Grass fire threatened power lines

A grass fire in Sandness threatened nearby overhead power lines. Photo Michael Mann

FIREFIGHTERS have extinguished a grass fire in the west of Shetland that covered 70 acres of land in what was described as an “extremely challenging” operation.

Four appliances from Lerwick, Scalloway and Walls attended the incident near Mousavord Loch at Sandness on Thursday afternoon.

The alarm was raised at around 12.50pm and firefighters used beaters to knock down the fire, which was spreading across grass and heather.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said the blaze was extinguished by 2.40pm after crew rushed to the scene in an effort to stop the blaze affecting nearby power lines.

Group manager Myles Murray said the operation was “extremely challenging”.

“Wildfires are inherently unpredictable and we knew that if the wind changed direction the flames could threaten power lines supplying electricity to our communities, which would obviously have a very serious impact on homes and businesses,” he said.

“We also know that wildfires damage the local environment and have devastating effects on wildlife so it is important to bring them under control quickly.

“Our crews had to operate in arduous conditions and it was a physically demanding operation, but their skill and professionalism ensured this fire was successfully extinguished before the power supply was threatened and more environmental damage done.”