Hot summer sees field fires increase in Midlothian

Firefighters tackle a recent grass fire on Arthur's Seat
Firefighters tackle a recent grass fire on Arthur's Seat

The hot summer weather and school holidays are being blamed for a recent increase in woodland and field fires in Midlothian.

Statistics have shown the number of ‘secondary fires’ has increased compared to the previous six month period.

Secondary fires are usually bins, woodland, grass, tree shrubs or rubbish fires that require the fire service to attend and prevent the escalation of a small fire into a potential major incident.

Brian Devine, Midlothian Group Manager for the Scottish Fire Service explained the increase and how he plans to tackle it.

He said: “There has been a combination of factors. It’s definitely the rise of temperature in the weather and the kids being off school.

“And there has definitely been an increase in these kinds of fires this year, particularly field fires.

“Through the Tactical & Co-ordinating Group we meet with the council every week.

“The police and various departments in the council sit on it and we discuss various issues in the area, such as this.”

In Penicuik recently, there have been two noticeable areas hit by secondary fires. The majority of these calls occured within a couple of days of each other.

The majority of these incidents have occurred between the hours of 4pm and 11pm.

There was also a significant increase last week of secondary fires in the Dalkeith/Mayfield area. Mostly deliberate according to the fire service, these fires are occurring predominantly between 10am and 10pm.

Read more on this in the July 25 edition of the Midlothian Advertiser.