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Fire brigade counts financial cost of grassland fires

Criffel, badly damaged by grassland fires Credit: ITV Border

Dumfries and Galloway Fire Service says they're still to calculate the cost of an operation to put out grassland fires which devastated more than a thousands acres.

The area around Criffel was badly damaged in the blaze which started on Monday afternoon

Scottish Natural Heritage says it will take years for the land to recover Credit: ITV Border

Today ITV Border's reporter Matthew Taylor was among the first to travel to the moorland which was burnt.

Scottish Natural Heritage says it will take years for the land to recover.

Criffel fire under control

The fire that has raged since yesterday has been contained and is under control.

Fire crews who have been at the Criffel battling the blaze, which stretched at one point along 4 miles of heath land, are withdrawing.

There will we one crew remaining to monitor the situation overnight. At one point there were fears the fire could spread to large forest areas.

Helicopter brought in to help tackle grassland fire

A Sea King helicopter is to be used to help tackle grass fires Credit: ITV Border

Authorities tackling grassland fires in south west Scotland have brought in a Sea King helicopter to help.

Three separate fires took hold on hills close to New Abbey after a heather burning operation got out of control.

The helicopter will be used to scoop water from a nearby loch.

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Heather burning may have caused major grassland fire

It's thought a heather burn which got out of control may have caused a large grassland fire in south west Scotland.

Council officials say they're investigating that as the likely source of the blaze.

Teams of fire fighters and Forestry Commission workers are set to use beaters to fight three separate blazes .

A large area of grassland near new Abbey and Kirkbean in Dumfries and Galloway has been affected.

A helicopter may also be used to scoop water out of a nearby loch to fight the fires.

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