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Respect the land plea

Open campfire scorched Loch Ken woodland

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By Christie Breen
Dumfries and West
Respect the land plea

CAMPERS are being asked to respect the land after an open campfire scorched some of the woodland near Kirkcudbright.

Last Thursday, rangers discovered an open campfire at Loch Ken that had spread from its stone circle and had ignited the remains of a dead tree.

The fire had burned deep in to the stump, and the campers left without ensuring the fire was fully out.

Due to the dry summer weather much of the undergrowth and ground around the loch is very dry and at risk from campfires.

As the area was surveyed, hot ashes had spread across the ground and there were several areas where bright embers were igniting.

Scorched… the tree after being scorched by the fire

It took the rangers some time to get sufficient loch water to ensure the fire was safely doused and could not reignite.

The fallen part of the tree stump had fire burning so deep inside of it, the only way to douse it was by carefully rolling it down to the loch, ensuring they didn’t spread any embers on the way.

A spokesperson from the Loch Ken Trust said via social media:

“Had it not been for our timely intervention, it is possible that the fire might have spread in the increasing wind, through that beautiful woodland and reached the point where we could not have controlled it on our own.

“Please, if you are camping around Loch Ken, adhere to both Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and local fire risk alerts.

“Follow Scottish Outdoor Access Code guidance on the lighting of fires, use a camp stove where possible and no open fires when dry conditions dictate.”

Burned… campers left a BBQ and without ensuring the fire was out