Fire chiefs have received backing after calling for greater resources to boost their fight against the growing spread of wildfires.
The Scottish Government was urged last night to act to help firefighters, including arranging for more access to helicopters for aerial water bombing.
Moray MP Douglas Ross said: “The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) is right to explore all options for improving its response to wildfires.
“We have all seen in recent months just how difficult it can be to get these blazes under control.
“Other countries around the world adopt different containment strategies, including back-burning and the use of helicopters.
“Given the recent increase in wildfires here in Scotland, this is something the Scottish Government should be looking at closely.”
Tim Baynes, moorland director at Scottish Land and Estates, said: “Estates have played a very significant role in combatting the risk of wildfires and continue to work closely with SFRS on this issue.
“We know that on estates where muirburn takes place, such as on grouse moors, it can often stop wildfires from spreading as the fuel load is significantly lower.
“There are many misconceptions about muirburn but the fact that Scotland’s fire service is now looking to introduce controlled burning next spring shows how important it is to adopt these methods.
“A number of estates have an insurance policy to enable helicopters to be called out quickly to tackle wildfires and we back further expansion of that, helping SFRS and safeguarding their own and neighbouring land in the process.”
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We commend the work of SFRS in keeping our communities safe, including in the event of a wildfire.
“Operational decisions on the local allocation of resources are a matter for SFRS board and chief officer.
“SFRS can call upon its combined resources from across Scotland, if required. This is a key strength of the single national service in providing a level of cover to keep our communities safe.
“We increased the SFRS budget this year by £5.5 million, taking it to £327 million in 2019-20, to invest in service transformation to meet the changing risks facing Scotland.
“This is on top of increasing the spending capacity of the service by £15.5 million in 2018-19. The SFRS is the only fire service in the UK to receive this level of additional funding.”