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SNP REPRESENTATIVES RESPOND TO SPEYSIDE WILDFIRE

23/04/2019  

MSP SEEKS REPORT ON LOCAL WILDFIRES 

Moray’s SNP MSP paid tribute to the firefighters and volunteers who have been working through the night to tackle the wildfire at Knockando and who are still busy tackling the blaze – the scale of which is alarming.

Whilst the priority is to get the fire under control, the MSP has expressed is concern that this is the latest of several wildfires in Moray and he has now written to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Chief Office Martin Blaven seeking a report on the causes of recent events.

Mr Lochhead has also contacted the Scottish Government’s Environment Secretary, Roseanna Cunningham, to find out what work is being done to better understand the causes of these wildfires, and to measure the impact these events have on our local environment and wildlife.

Commenting Richard Lochhead MSP said:

“The firefighters and volunteers who have responded to the fire at Knockando, and who have worked round the clock to bring it under control, deserve huge praise and I know the community appreciates their efforts.

“We have seen an increasing number of wildfires taking hold in Moray which is a real concern given the impact on our local landscapes, wildlife and habitats, as well as being a threat to local infrastructure.

“Clearly the unusually hot and very dry weather does mean an increase in the risk of wildfires, but I’m keen to get a better understanding of the factors involved in these recent events, and I’ve asked the Fire and Rescue Service for a report on trends locally and nationally. 

“Following the fire in Knockando I have also contacted colleagues in the Scottish Government to find out to what extent the authorities are aware of the causes of wildfires and to measure the impact they have on our precious natural environment and habitats.”

SNP Councillor for Speyside Glenlivet, Louise Laing added:

“I have so much admiration for our fire service crews battling the blaze, especially as many are retained fire personnel and have full time jobs to get to as well.

“The number of gorse fires that have occurred already this year is worrying and it’s only April. If we have another long dry summer like last year fires like this could be a common occurrence.

“We are seeing more and more extreme weather events linked to climate change, which can contribute to wildfires. I hope that when people see incidents like this on our doorstep in Moray that their awareness of climate change will be greater and they will take steps to reduce their impact on the environment.”

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