Fighting the Fires of Kintail

Wild Fires
Sgurr an t-Searraich GlenShiel
2nd May 2011

We had seen the large smoke cloud as we passed through Broadford on Skye the previous evening, but we couldn't have guessed the huge area affected.
Sgurr an t-Searraich is 1890 feet high (576m) and the summit's on fire!
This was a major wild fire, sadly one of many, after an exceptionally dry April.
How often do you see helicopters being used to water bomb a hillside in Britain?
It was fascinating watching the skill of the pilot as he completed a firefighting round - from loch to hill.
Loch Shiel (the Glenshiel one that is!) was the source to fill the 'bomb'. The pilot has downward looking 'rear view mirrors' so he can observe operations. How many gallons in the bag?
In only a few moments a full load was whisked uphill; with a long fiercely burning fire front, where to start?
Perfect - right on target.....
....then back a never ending cycle......
this time heading for the blazing summit.
We were glad not to have walked the Five Sisters ridge the previous day, as our descent route would have proved hot and interesting!
Quite sad to see such extensive fire damage.

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