Wildfire sweeps accross Tanera
11 June 2012
On the evening of Thursday 31st May smoke was spotted billowing up from the far south western point of Tanera. Our worst fear had come true: a wild fire was burning on the Island, and would do so for the next 24 hours, eventually covering an area of approximately 150 acres. A hasty call to the emergency services led to the arrival of the Achiltibuie Fire & Rescue Service, promptly followed by their Ullapool and Lochinver colleagues, delivered to the scene by Lochinver's RNLI Lifeboat. The teams were almost successful in extinguishing the blaze but as darkness fell the decision weas taken to evacuate the crews leaving the Island's residents to keep watch, on top of the hill, overnight.
The scene the following morning was pretty horrific. The fire front had made considerable advances across the Island aided by the tinder dry conditions and unrelenting (although thankfully northerly) wind which literally fanned the flames. Friday saw in excess of 30 fire fighters on the Island coming from as far away as Ballantor on the East Coast. By the end of the day the fire was all but out and we were all but spent!
Its too early to tell the extent of the damage to the young trees but we hope the fire may have passed over quick enough for them to recover and come back into leaf next year.
We would like to express our huge gratitude to all those involved in fighting the blaze, be they retained fire crew, local Coigach residents or Island holiday makers. It was a fantastic team effort and were left humbled by their fantastic efforts. We don't know the cause of the fire, but believe it emanated from one of the beaches on the south coast. We would urge everyone enjoying the outdoors to be extra vigilant in these tinder dry times.
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