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Scottish Highlands wildfire: Smoke billows from huge gorse blaze near army barracks

A wildfire has broken out near an army barracks in the Scottish Highlands.

More than 15 firefighters are tackling the incident near Fort George, Ardersier.

Pictures show smoke billowing from the huge gorse blaze.

The 18th century fort is a working army barracks.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) recently issued a warning over wildfires, with heightened fears due to the dry weather.

Firefighters were called at around 1:35pm on Wednesday, with three appliances and an all-terrain vehicle sent to the scene.

Fort George is located around 13 miles from Inverness.

The fire covers an area measuring 200m by 100m, the SFRS said.

A spokesperson said: “We were alerted at 1.35pm on Wednesday, April 21, to reports of a fire in the open at the Fort George Range, Ardesier.

“Operations Control mobilised three appliances and other specialist resources including an all-terrain vehicle to the scene and more than 15 firefighters are tackling a fire of gorse and vegetation covering an area of approximately 200m x 100m.”

The service issued a public warning last week about wildfires, which it said can cause “significant damage”.

The cause of the fire near Fort George is as yet unknown.

“We are asking the public to exercise extreme caution and think twice before using anything involving a naked flame,” local senior officer Bruce Farquharson said.

“Many rural and remote communities are hugely impacted by wildfires, which can cause significant 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.

“These fires can also have a hugely negative impact on the environment and the release of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.

“Human behaviour can significantly lower the chance of a wildfire starting, so it is crucial that people act safely and responsibly in rural environments, and always follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.”