A WARNING has been issued to the public about an increased wildfire risk this weekend.
Wild and grass fires can start by the careless disposal of cigarettes and barbecues or campfires left unattended.
They then have the potential to burn for days and devastate vast areas of land, wildlife and threaten the welfare of nearby communities.
And with weather forecasters predicting the current conditions to stretch into next week the public are being urged to stay safe and mindful when outdoors.
The warning has come from the Scottish Fire and Rescue. Deputy assistant chief officer Andy Coueslant said: “Many rural and remote communities are hugely impacted by wildfires, which can cause significant environmental and economic damage.
“Livestock, farmland, wildlife, protected woodland and sites of special scientific interest can all be devastated by these fires – as can the lives of people living and working in rural communities.
“Human behaviour can significantly lower the chance of a wildfire starting so it’s crucial people act safely and responsibly in rural environments and follow the countryside code,” he said.
Dry and windy weather has already resulted in several incidents including Lochinver in Sutherland.