Sunday 1 April 2012

Rhinns on fire

One fire was on the south-western edge of the RSPB's Loch Gruinart reserve, not far from Loch Gorm, and was contained by a lot of very hard work by staff and volunteers, then put out with the invaluable help of local firemen plus Islay Estates' Argocat, which carries a tank of water and a pressure hose. The photograph shows the fire front extending well over a kilometre. Tiny figures can just be made out at the extreme right hand edge of the smoke.
The second fire appeared to start near Sunderland Farm and spread, aided by a stiff wind, right across the hill to above Conisby, a distance of 2-3 kilometres. It was still burning yesterday evening and I'm not sure how much further it spread towards Port Charlotte.
Thankfully, it is still probably still too early in the season for ground nesting birds in the two areas to have taken up residence, but the nesting cover they would have used is now just blackened ground and the charred remains of heather and scrub.
Fire burning on RSPB reserve

Smoke billowing over Conisby (right) and Gartaharra Farm

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