Firefighters have mapped out known hotspots on an Aberdeen hillside as they attempt to get to the bottom of a spate of blazes which have dominated their time over the past fortnight.
Crews have been called to the Gramps nature reserve on Kincorth Hill repeatedly, with 30 separate visits recorded in a 13-day spell.
Fire chiefs and police officers have not ruled out that the fires have been started deliberately, and yesterday issued an appeal for anyone with information “to suggest they might be wilful” to come forward.
Officers on bicycles have also mounted increased patrols around the hill in an effort to spot anyone behaving suspiciously.
Torry inspector, Chris Kerr, told a recent meeting of the area’s community council group about the investigation.
He said: “Every fire has been mapped around the hill, with notes on the timeline and where it was started.”
Inspector Kerr added that officers had recently “chased” and arrested four teenagers found deliberately setting fire to bins on Girdleness Road.
Darren Riddell, the fire service’s group manager for Aberdeen City, yesterday revealed that wildlife rangers are now involved with the effort to keep the Gramps free of flames.
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He added: “There has been a large number of wildfires within a relatively short space of time and these can have a significant impact on the lives of local people and on our wildlife and our environment.
“There are numerous sites of historical importance on the Gramps – so it’s imperative that we work together to protect such areas.
“I would ask the community to assist in any way possible and that includes contacting police with any information they might have in relation to these fires.”
Torry community policing team sergeant, Jonathan Spence, confirmed that officers are also investigating a fire at Nigg Bay Golf Club, which was reported on Monday.
He said: “It goes without saying how serious the consequences of fire can be.
“We are carrying out additional patrols in the area as well as working to support our colleagues at the fire service.
“Wilful fire-raising is a serious offence and we would encourage anyone with concerns or information to contact us as soon as possible.”
Anyone with information should contact police on 101.