What a terrible, depressing scene. This weeks dry weather has seen a significant wildfire outbreak on the upper moors above High Blantyre, just above Calderside.
Emergency service were called and spent a couple of days attending to the fire, which was spread over an expansive area.
It’s unknown how the fire started, but not thought to be deliberate. It hasn’t rained for a fortnight and the whole moorland is a tinderbox. The firefighters worked for hours trying to put it out, having to beat fire and smoking heather with tools of all sorts. By the third day, the fire engines were still going back and forth, the lack of water causing issues, necessitating tankering in water supplies to tackle the remaining flames. Indeed even yesterday, 5 days on, some parts of the heather and scrub were still smouldering, caused partially by the presence of burning peat.
The environmental devastation caused is considerable, not to mention the eco damage to flora and fauna. It’s hard to imagine what this has done to the wildlife and birds in this habitat. Trees and bushes were also damaged and destroyed.
Rather that end on this terrible event, I would add that nature always has a way of bouncing back. We can hope for a return to natural beauty, but I fear it may be some time before this area is ever green again.
Photos by Willie McClelland