Crews battle Skye wildfire for more than 24 hours

Firefighters battled the wildfire for more than 24 hours.

More than 30 firefighters battled for over 24 hours to stop a wildfire in the north of Skye before crews dealt with another wildfire on Benbecula yesterday.

Fears were mounting as the blaze at Edinbane, which at its height was two miles long, spread across the hillside into an area of forestry.

But a fire service spokeswoman said that crews managed to bring the blaze under control by about 8.30pm on Sunday, and that the Forestry Commission carried out checks yesterday morning to confirm the blaze had been put out.

Several wildfires developed in the area over the weekend as controlled burning of rough grass and heather by hill farmers was fanned out by high winds in dry conditions.

And more wildfires ripped through some of the smaller islands as much of the rest of the country dealt with heavy snowfall.

A fire service spokesman said that one fire appliance was sent to another wildfire at Rarnish in Benbecula at about 12.30pm yesterday and that the flames were extinguished after an hour.

The spokesman said: “Approximately 10 acres had burned and there was some small damage to fencing. There was no threat to any homes.”

Another wildfire – about 100 metres wide – developed on neighbouring South Uist on Sunday night and this was extinguished by a crew from Lochboisdale at about 3.10am yesterday morning.

And in Barra, more than 60 people – local firemen, coastguards, lifeboat volunteers and islanders – battled three separate fires from Saturday night into Sunday morning.

Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil, who lives on Barra and helped fight the fire, said previously that the front was about a mile wide at its height and that it came within 100 yards of buildings.

On Friday, firefighters were called to a six-acre blaze in an area off the A858 Staffin Road near Portree. Crews were also called to battle a 50-acre wildfire the same day at Camasnacroise in Lochaber, while another blaze with a two-mile front also broke out near Lochboisdale.