Fire crews battling the remnants of a devastating fire in the Highlands for a third day have finally brought the inferno under control.
But dozens of firefighters remained at the scene on Ben Bhraggie near Golspie, dampening down hot spots from the blaze which came within a quarter of a mile of nearby properties and covered a two-and-a-half square miles.
Crews were first alerted to the challenging fire at 12.04am on Saturday, and dispatched all available resources to the scene, with more than 50 firefighters involved at the height of the blaze.
A total of six appliances yesterday remained at the scene, travelling from Nairn, Helmsdale, Lairg, Dornoch, Golspie, Ballintore, alongside a specialist Wildfire Unit from Inverness.
Deputy assistant chief officer John MacDonald said: “Crews have made some good progress overnight and firefighters are currently deployed across the incident ground to dampen down hot spots.
“However, we will continue to closely monitor the area as these hot spots could potentially flare up again.”
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He added: “I would like to thank our crews on the ground for their sterling efforts, the wider community for their continued support and the work of our partners.”
A warning for wildfires remains in place until tomorrow, with residents across the north being asked to be extra vigilant in helping to control the potential spread of such incidents.
Scott Morrison, managing director of Dunrobin Castle, witnessed the worst of the fire, but said yesterday that conditions on the ground were an “awful lot better”.
He added: “The fire service is much happier with how things are going. We still have appliances here – they will probably be here for the next two or three days to keep an eye on it and dampen it down.
“We are currently right in the middle of the mature trees and the flames were eight feet up the tree trunks and it’s all the pine needles at the bottom that keep flaring up, but compared to what it was, it’s a lot better.
“The fire service has been just amazing. Firefighters from as far north as Thurso have been here as well as from Aviemore, Elgin and Nairn. Firefighters also came all the way across from Skye for a bit.
“We have had an amazing response and because of that what started out a huge fire is now under control.”