POLICE Scotland are appealing for witnesses after a wilful fireraising incident near the Hopeman area.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service were called to a large gorse fire at Clashach Quarry yesterday (June 7) at around 3.30pm.
They are also urging members of the public to avoid the area as there is a risk that the fire could flare up again.
Sergeant Scott Brander said: “Patrols will be carried out in the area over the weekend but we are urging people to avoid the area.
"There are a number of coastal paths in the area which include the area east of Hopeman Golf Course, inclusive of Cove Bay, Jock Muldoon’s Cave, Codeen Beach and Pinochet Bay and we would urge the public to avoid these over the weekend.
“Enquiries are ongoing and police are following a positive line of enquiry. Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 using reference number CF0136910618.”
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service area manager Bruce Farquharson, chairman of the Scottish Wildfire Forum, added: “Many rural and remote communities are hugely impacted by wildfires, which can cause significant environmental and economic damage.
“Livestock, farmland, wildlife, protected woodland and sites of special scientific interest can all be devastated by these fires – as can the lives of people living and working in rural communities.
“A great many people will be enjoying the outdoors in the good weather, we urge everyone to make sure that they don’t increase the chance of wildfire – be aware of the risks and follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.
“Wild and grass fires can start by the careless disposal of cigarettes and barbecues or campfires left unattended.
“They then have the potential to burn for days and devastate vast areas of land, wildlife and threaten the welfare of nearby communities.
“Human behaviour can significantly lower the chance of a wildfire starting so it’s crucial people act safely and responsibly in rural environments and follow the countryside code.”