Firefighters have worked through the night tackling a huge wildfire in Moray.
Around 50 firefighters remain at the scene of the blaze this morning, which broke out near Paul’s Hill wind farm, close to Aberlour, at 2.58pm yesterday.
At the height of the incident, nine fire appliances and two water carriers were at the scene but this had been scaled back to six appliances by this morning.
The blaze covers an area of six miles by two miles.
There are no reports of any casualties.
Flames raced for miles across the Speyside landscape as the blaze threatened to engulf the turbines of wind farm at Knockando.
Where first there was one fire, soon there were four, before they combined in one inferno that tested the best efforts of crews from across the region.
>> Keep up to date with the latest news with The P&J newsletter
As additional firefighters arrived and staff from an estimated 15 neighbouring estates rushed to offer assistance, ambulance crews stood by in case of injury.
The teams attempted to get ahead of the blaze, which was visible for many miles around, but struggled as flames moved swiftly through heather and gorse dried by days of fine weather.
Despite their best efforts, it was soon in the midst of the wind farm, which only last week narrowly avoided devastation at the hands of another wildfire.
The land surrounding Paul’s Hill is part of the Ballindalloch Highland Estate.
One estate worker from Cabrach and Glenfiddich described how fellows from “about 15 different neighbouring estates, some from as far away as Inverness” had arrived to help.
He said: “It’s not going to be put out anytime soon but we are here to help and try and reduce how far it spreads.”
Firefighters said they would continue to battle the wildfire long into the night.
Neill McLennan, group manager for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, said his crews would continue to battle through the night to get the fire under control.
He said: “We were called in the afternoon to a wildfire at Paul’s Hill wind farm.
“It was fairly obvious early on it that it was a large wildfire, on a number of fronts.
“At first we had six appliances and a number of special units but we had to call for further appliances.
“We have also been working with resources supplied by landowners, including specialist equipment.”
By around 9pm last night, the fire service said it had successfully extinguished one sector of the wildfire but was still battling two fire fronts, with another threatening to develop.
Moray MSP Richard Lochhead paid tribute to the efforts of crews “and others who find themselves called out to the increasing number of wildfires in Moray”.
“The unusually hot weather means there is an increased risk of such fires, which can be devastating if not brought under control,” he said.
“The priority has to be protecting life and property but it is a concern that significant wildfires appear to be occurring more often.”
Continued dry weather has created dangerous conditions across large parts of Moray, which last year experienced a series of severe wildfires, blighting communities such as Hopeman and Lossiemouth.
The public have been asked to be vigilant and do nothing that could potentially cause a fire to begin, with further fine weather expected.