The weather increases the risk of wildfires in parts of Scotland

Two alerts were introduced by Saturday, with south-west Scotland having a risk rating of “extreme” and east-central Scotland a “very high” risk.

Meanwhile, snow and ice weather warnings will affect much of the country through 6am Sunday.

The higher risk of wildfires is caused by a weather pattern dominated by low pressure, warm air in the south, cold air in the north and low humidity in the south-west, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) said.

A large amount of dead grass and heather left over from last year is expected to dry up quickly due to a combination of frost, low relative humidity, sunshine and wind.

READ MORE: More yellow weather warnings for snow and ice across Scotland

If ignited, the dried greens would serve as fuel and cause wildfires to spread quickly over a wide area.

The Fire Department recently launched a new prevention campaign called Care For Your Countryside.

John Harvey, an SFRS station commander, said: “Over the next few days while this wildfire alert is in effect, we are urging people to act safely and responsibly on the land.

“Wildfires have a devastating impact on our landscape and are extremely damaging to the environment, wildlife and surrounding communities.

“With dry, wintry conditions this weekend, wildfires could burn and spread at very high intensity in high-risk areas.

“So we ask people to act responsibly when enjoying the great outdoors, dispose of cigarettes carefully, and please think twice before using anything with an open flame.”

READ MORE: Snow expected as Arctic cold snap intensifies

According to the SFRS, many wildfires are started intentionally or result from careless, reckless, or irresponsible behavior, and the risk is expected to peak in the spring.

In particular, people living, working or visiting rural areas are urged to exercise extreme caution to avoid fires breaking out. The weather increases the risk of wildfires in parts of Scotland

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