Thursday 9 May 2019


Burnt out trees in Moray following the recent wildfire
The SGA recently blogged about the difference between planned muirburn and wildfire. 
Since then, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has announced it is to learn from other countries where fire is used effectively to fight wildfires- and from gamekeepers- who have been deploying controlled muirburn for centuries, providing a food source for red and black grouse, deer, sheep and other moorland inhabitants, as well as nesting cover.
Controlled muirburning, in rotational strips or patches of different aged heather, also creates fire breaks over the moor, reducing fuel load, so the moor is less susceptible to wildfire, which would kill the heather habitat of the birds as well as losing vital shooting income for years.
Recapping on the original blog, we have now uploaded a short video clip to the SGA YouTube channel showing the devastation of vast areas in the recent wildfire at Moray. This is only a small section of the burn-out, with frazzled and blackened trees and miles of black ground which will take decades to recover. The wildfire covered 23 square miles in total and has taken out woodland schemes, important moorland habitats and forestry.
This fire started in woodland in an area where muirburning of the heather around the woodland has been restricted for 10 years and where no heather management has been allowed at all for 3 years. Despite being put out some days before, the fire re-started and got away, causing extensive damage to the holdings nearby.
You can watch the video here:
There will also be an article in the next edition of our member magazine, Scottish Gamekeeper.

***Please also subscribe to the Scottish Gamekeepers Association YouTube channel to keep up with latest news.

Scenes of devastation at a wind farm site in Moray following the wildfire.