Firefighters spent more than two hours battling flames at an Aberdeenshire beauty spot this weekend after a wildfire was believed to have been started by a barbecue.
The fire service was called to Loch Davan, in the Muir of Dinnet area in Deeside, at around 5pm on Saturday afternoon after receiving reports of a well-developed blaze.
Three fire appliances and a wildfire unit were dispatched to the incident, and were faced with a serious blaze that had burned through many trees.
Heavy smoke filled the air at the scenic loch, and could be seen billowing into the sky while flames spread rapidly through the woodland.
Fire teams brought the blaze under control just before 7.30pm.
A charred disposable barbecue was later found surrounded by the ashes of the burned woodland at the scene.
A spokeswoman for the fire service said two hose reel jets and a fogging unit were used, in addition to a wildfire unit.
She said: “We got the call at 5.03pm and the last appliance left the scene at 7.23pm.
“Police were informed, but did not attend and ambulance teams were not required.”
Upper Deeside councillor Geva Blackett said anyone using barbecues or other open flames should be extremely careful.
Mrs Blackett added: “We have a weather warning out right now across Deeside regarding fires because of the very, very dry conditions.
“Barbeques, campfires and even the ill-advised flicking of a cigarette can all cause acres and acres of damage, and with a little bit of wind like we’ve had this weekend, it can really just spread so much faster than you could believe.
“Wildfires which sadly sometimes tear through our historic woodlands are incredibly destructive, and I find it very concerning that someone could have caused such a huge fire in the Muir of Dinnet area.
“It is a place which is so beloved by people in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire who make the journey there to enjoy the beautiful countryside.
“I would encourage anyone enjoying the beautiful surroundings of Deeside and everywhere else in Aberdeenshire enjoying the good weather to be as careful as possible with any sort of fire.”