CONCERNS have been raised following a succession of fires at Devilla Forest near Kincardine.

Last week, firefighters were called out three times with crews in attendance on Monday, July 18, night into Tuesday, on Wednesday as well as overnight on Thursday, as temperatures soared.

The fire on Thursday, July 21, was the largest with some 30 firefighters and six appliances in attendance to extinguish the blaze, measuring around 200 metres by 50 metres.

There were no casualties reported but the spate of fires have raised concerns for Kincardine Community Council.

Andy Willo, chair, told the Advertiser: "Many seem to be a result of barbecues or camp fires, some more malicious.

"There is also a really disappointing amount of littering in some areas and it could be broken glass that is causing them.

"It would seem all these fires were fairly close to the car park. However, people would like to be reassured that these weren't deliberate acts."

Most people are concerned for the rich wildlife with red squirrels, pine martens and even some ospreys found in the woodland.

Andy continued: "The fires in England last week show that dangerous wildfires won't just be a problem for Australia, Greece or California in the future.

"There are a number of properties in the forest and, obviously, those would be the greatest concern if a serious fire developed.

"The forest does back on to parts of the village as well.

"Much of the forest is at the right age for felling and as it is replanted making sure there are good firebreaks is an issue we would like to see considered."

The community council will engage with Forestry and Land Scotland, which manages the woodland, about the issue.

Andrew Clark, FLS regional visitor services manager, said: "We have not yet had an opportunity to survey the area and get an accurate understanding of the level of damage, but, thankfully, the alarm was raised early on each occasion, which saved us from having to deal with a much worse situation."

Kincardine Community Council also want to raise some concerns with the proposed development of a battery storage facility in the woods.

As previously reported, Canada-based Amp Energy has announced plans to build a 400MW facility there, set to be one of the largest of its kind in Europe.

Andy said: "The firefighters had to take water from a hydrant some distance from the fire, on the main road.

"We will be speaking to the developers to make sure good water supply is available at the battery storage site to help protect it and the forest."

Meanwhile, Bruce Farquharson, deputy assistant chief officer at SFRS, has been urging the public to avoid lighting fires outdoors with more heatwaves forecast for August.

He added: "We need people to be aware of how quickly things can get out of hand – the smallest outdoor ignition can spread rapidly and burn for days."